In a close NBA finals, James plans to be better

For nearly a year, LeBron James has shaken off the criticism, laughed off the trash talk.

None of it mattered to James, not as long as the Miami Heat remained on the route to a championship.

But when that pursuit became threatened in part by his own poor play, James couldn't ignore the only critic that matters: himself.

James says he "didn't play well" in Game 4, when the Dallas Mavericks edged the Heat to even the series at two games apiece.

Three straight games have been decided by three points or fewer, the first time that's happened in the championship round since 1948. And while Dirk Nowitzki is cementing his reputation with his clutch play, James has come under increased scrutiny for being passive.

He says Game 5 is a chance to turn that around.