LeBron James scores 51 points but Warriors beat Cavs in game one
01 June, 2018, 18:59 | Author: Candice Daniels
George Hill was fouled with 4.7 seconds remaining in the game and the Warriors clinging to a one-point lead.
Smith had a brief window to put a shot up after the rebound, but he also had Kevin Durant in front of him near the restricted area. LeBron James and teammates shouted at Smith, who passed to Hill. The Cavaliers were a mess after Smith's gaffe and the Warriors rolled in overtime on their way to a 124-114 win.
A team doesn't get many second chances against great teams in the playoffs.
Potentially set to play his final handful of games as a member of the Cavaliers, it's rather interesting that James would speak so candidly about the Irving situation and a perceived rift with Cleveland's front office.
"We were told they were reviewing if I had my feet outside the line", James said.
"So I felt like the odds were against us from the summer", James continued.
He notched his eighth 40-point game during this play-off run to tie Hall of Famer Jerry West's feat in 1965 for most in a single post-season.
The opener of the fourth straight finals between these teams followed a familiar script with the deeper Warriors overcoming a sensational individually effort by James the way they did in winning the past two titles.
So basketball fans (or I'd argue casual fans or people who wanted a reason not to watch the Finals) were concerned that another Warriors-Cavs Finals was going to be boring.
What was a fluke was a silly mental error by veteran J.R. Smith that played a critical role in the Cavaliers' loss. I don't know what else to say.... And even if you think James' blocking foul was a "huge play", as he described it, it could have been irrelevant had his team shot better than 27 percent from 3-point range.
When pressed on whether he knew the score of the game, Smith responded, "I knew it was tied, I just thought we were going to call a timeout because I got the rebound". Coach Steve Kerr called it "a feel out game".
"I read that play just as well as I've read any play in my career, maybe in my life", said James. "He thought we were up one". "I didn't know what JR was thinking", he responded. I knew he was late on the drive, and I knew I had my man beat and he came over a little late.
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Former NBA referee Steve Javie broke down the play after the game on "SportsCenter", making clear just how close the call was. And then tonight in the finals on the biggest stage, when our team played well, played our ass off, man, it ain't right.
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Who's going to win the NBA Finals?
Love has averaged 13.9 points and a team-high 10.0 rebounds in the playoffs for Cleveland. "He thought it was over", Lue said. But Durant scored six points in a 9-2 spurt after that, putting the Warriors up 97-85 with about 3 minutes to go.
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