LeBron says chirping was motivation

Updated: April 21, 2010, 1:50 AM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers star LeBron James said he was more motivated than usual Monday during Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls when he heard some chirping from the visitors' bench.

James scored 40 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Cavs to a 112-102 victory and 2-0 series lead.

"They were talking the whole game," James said. "Every time I caught the ball over there [by the Bulls' bench], they were daring me to shoot the ball ... telling me that I couldn't shoot or, 'You can't make jump shots, so take the shot.'

"So that's what I did. They asked me to shoot a jumper, and I did that, over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I continued to make them."

James connected on 16 of 23 shots, and his 5-of-7 shooting in the fourth quarter deflated any chance the Bulls had for an upset.

"It was just crazy shots," Bulls All-Star guard Derrick Rose said. "It makes you want to be in his shoes sometimes with the stuff he'll be hitting, but I know one day it will come."

Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown knew he was watching yet another vintage James performance.

"Obviously, LeBron did what he does," Brown said. "The fun and exciting thing about it was that in the playoffs, everybody knows what play is coming.

"A lot of times, it's about can you stop the players on the other team? We didn't do anything tricky. We just came down and threw him the ball and he made plays in crunch minutes ... having a guy like that on your side makes everybody's job easier."

James' performance left Bulls center Joakim Noah, a man of many words, searching for the right ones.

"Yes, it's tough," he said. "But I don't want to be up here and just give LeBron all this credit. Yeah, he played an unbelievable game. It's tough right now."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.