- Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith appeared to forget the score in the final four seconds of Game 1 of the Finals.
- Smith got an offensive rebound with the game tied and, instead of passing the ball or taking a shot, dribbled out to midcourt and ran out the clock.
- The mistake cost the Cavs a great chance at stealing Game 1, which they lost to the Golden State Warriors in overtime.
J.R. Smith committed a horrible gaffe in the final seconds of Game 1 of the NBA Finals when he appeared to forget the score.
With four seconds remaining and the game tied at 107, Cleveland Cavaliers guard George Hill was shooting a free throw that would have given the Cavaliers a one-point lead over the Golden State Warriors.
Smith got the offensive rebound when Hill missed the shot, but instead of going up with the ball or passing it out to an open teammate, he dribbled through the Warriors, essentially running out the clock. He ultimately did attempt to pass the ball to Hill, but it was too late and the Cavs didn’t get a shot off.
LeBron James was incredulous.
Smith’s mistake was a dagger for the Cavs. The Cavs withstood the Warriors’ second-half run and took the lead late in the game behind the heroics of James. They were a free throw away from perhaps winning the game, or a Smith kick-out pass from attempting the winner.
The Warriors went on to win in overtime, 124-114, and took a 1-0 series lead.
There were varying opinions after the game on what Smith meant to do. Smith said he knew the game was tied and dribbled the ball out to either get a better shot or call timeout. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue told reporters after the game, however, that Smith thought it was over and that the Cavs were up.
More NBA Playoffs coverage:
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- The controversial Kyrie Irving trade is once again taking center stage as the Cavs prepare for another Finals showdown with the Warriors
- LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are gargantuan underdogs heading into the NBA Finals
- The biggest concern about the Rockets’ radical strategy came back to haunt them at the worst possible time
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