LeBron James’ Performance Inspires Awe From Dwyane Wade, Respect From Paul Pierce

BOSTON — LeBron James' performance left many people speechless, but at least a few members involved in Thursday's game managed to put the effort into words.

Below is a sampling of what folks had to say about James' 45-point, 15-rebound showing in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Doc Rivers: "I hope now you guys will stop talking about LeBron and how he doesn't play in big games. He was pretty good [Thursday]. Now that's to bed. We can go ahead and play Game 7."

LeBron James' Performance Inspires Awe From Dwyane Wade, Respect From Paul PierceLeBron James: "In an environment like this, you want to have a big game. I wanted to be there for my teammates, no matter what was going on throughout the course of the game. Like I said, I'm happy I was able to make some plays both offensively and defensively to help us win this game."

Rajon Rondo: "From a scoring aspect, maybe [this was the best LeBron has played]. I've seen him put up some great numbers, not just offensively, but doing a lot of other things, intangibles. He shot very efficient, but I don't base great performances on just shooting. He's had a lot of games where he's had triple-doubles, chase-down blocks. He's a great player."

Shane Battier: "He was pretty amazing. We needed an effort like that to win in Boston in a close-out game. It was phenomenal. … I don't think [his demeanor] was any different, to be honest with you. We were joking before the game that the bus driver took us on a nice tour of Boston and we got here really late. We got here about a half an hour later than we were supposed to and he made a few jokes. I don't think his mindset is any different, not that I could tell."

Paul Pierce: "He hit a lot of shots that he hasn't been hitting all series. Sometimes superstars get hot. I've had that feeling before and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it."

Dwyane Wade: "He played amazing. He was locked in from the beginning of the game like I've never seen him before. The shots he was making were unbelievable, some good defense, and he still made them. He really put on an MVP performance [Thursday], not just scoring the ball, but rebounding the ball, defensively. He did it all. It was great. It was great to see him come out and lead this team the way he did today. We just gave him the ball and got out of the way."

Erik Spoelstra: "He was absolutely fearless [Thursday], and it was contagious, the way he approached the last 48 hours, not only LeBron, but everybody else. It wasn't the end of the world. Nobody likes getting dirt thrown on your face before you're even dead. But he showed great resolve, and you could see it leading up to that. He was fearless in this game and everybody followed from there."

Kevin Garnett: "LB was in a groove and he never looked back."

Chris Bosh: "The best I've seen, one of the best this league has ever seen. He's helped us live to play another day. It's all good right now, but [Friday] we have to continue to prepare for Game 7 because it's going to be a tough one."

Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here.

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