MIAMI -- Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson said Le Bron James using trash talk against him in the Heat's Game 3 conference finals victory was a sign of weakness. Stephenson drew a charge on James in the first half as the Pacers built a 15-point lead.It's unusual for James to get involved in extensive on-court trash talk, but he engaged with Stephenson throughout the first half of the Heat's 99-87 win."To me, it's a sign of weakness," Stephenson said after the Pacers' practice Sunday. Shortly after the call, the players started yelling at each other, which their teammates and the crowd quickly noticed.He's become a much more vital player since and has been a factor in the series, averaging 17.3 points and 6.7 assists in the three games."I'll never back down," Stephenson said. I will refuse to back down to him."James, who is averaging 24.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and six assists in the East finals, tried to downplay the back-and-forth between the two players."One thing I'm not going to do is give a story line of Le Bron versus Stephenson, I'm not going to do that.
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I feel like there's a weakness and I feel like I'm doing something right to get underneath his skin."James has guarded Stephenson occasionally in the series.