With the game tied 107-107 with 4.7 seconds remaining, George Hill missed his second free throw but Smith grabbed the offensive rebound - and unaware of the level score - he ran the ball out past the 3-point line and attempted to run out the clock.
Instead of trying to take a game winning shot or pass the ball to a teammate, Smith ran down the clock and fired a pass to Hill with less than a second left in the game.
"LeBron James is looking at him like he has to be the most idiotic person on planet Earth".
Chaos ruled late in game one of the National Basketball Association finals, with sendings off and trash talking ruling. Cleveland could then intentionally foul to prevent a game-tying attempt.
Durant, who had three blocks, said, "If he had tried to put a layup up, I had a good chance to contest it".
"He thought we were up one", said Lue, although Smith said he knew the scores were tied.
"We got lucky", Kerr said. Andre Iguodala, who has mostly drawn the defensive assignment on James, is out for Game 1 as he'll miss his fifth straight postseason game with a left leg bruise. "And then you know we come into the season, and our All-Star point guard that we got from Boston [Isaiah Thomas] wasn't able to play until January".
"I guess the rule is you can review - you can review the call if it's inside or outside the restricted, is the rule that I know", Lue said.
"I thought I read that play just as well as I read any play in my career defensively", James said. "So I felt like the odds was against us from the summer". James has occasionally referred to Love's best moments being him getting back to "Minnesota Kevin" and an appearance by him could even things out considerably.
"I do not. I do not [take consolation]", James added. It is never comfortable to waste a huge game from a star player, let alone against a team like this, with stakes this high.
It's fair to ask LeBron if he talked to Smith about the cross-up, and even if he had an idea of Smith's mindset. "But I think it's worked out for us both in these four years so far since I've been back". "So I don't know what JR was thinking".
"#NBAFinals Game 1 Recap: 'When I leave Cleveland a second time, I'm going in this direction.' - @KingJames", radio host Damon Bruce wrote.
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