Despite James' 51, Warriors take NBA Finals opener in OT

Sherman Parsons
June 1, 2018

Smith was the centre of social media backlash and jokes after his mistake during the final stages of regulation contributed to Cleveland's 124-114 game-one defeat to Golden State in overtime Thursday. "This is LeBron James". I don't know what JR was thinking.

"He looks at LeBron James to say "I didn't know, I thought we were up" and there you have it". The Warriors beat the Cavaliers in overtime in 2015's Game 1 as well.

The Warriors have three wins to go, the Cavaliers have a mountain to climb.

At one point in the second quarter the Cavaliers led, 51-40, on a turnaround jumper by Love, but the Warriors stormed back and tied the game, 56-56, on a 30-foot rainbow by Curry at the second-quarter buzzer.

Referee Ken Mauer said of the call reversal, "The reason for the trigger is that we had doubt as to whether or not James was in the restricted area". "Both teams played extremely tough".

Smith dribbled out the clock after George Hill's missed free throw with 4.7 seconds left, instead of trying to score what could have been a decisive basket.

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When asked about the replay, where it appeared Smith said to LeBron, "I thought we were ahead", he denied it.

After the game, Smith insisted he knew the game was tied. Then Tristan Thompson was ejected, albeit questionably, for fouling Shaun Livingston.

Perhaps the most important moment near the end of regulation came when the officials reviewed and ultimately reversed what had been called a charge on the court. Needing a triple-pointer to equalise with just 5 seconds to go, Curry took a shot from near the half-court line, hitting the bull's eye, as it went straight through the hoops. "It's just I thought we were going to take a timeout because I got the rebound". But it wasn't enough when Curry answered with a three-point play followed by Smith's miscue. "They have a guy who is playing basketball at a level that I'm not sure anybody's ever seen before, so it's going to be a tough series".

Kevin Durant and Steph Curry led the way for the Warriors, the latter finishing with 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and Durant adding 26, nine rebounds and six assists.

Draymond Green just missed a triple-double for the Warriors with 13 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, five steals and two blocks.

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