NBA Finals Preview: Warriors vs. Cavaliers

Jun 01, 2018, 17:15
NBA Finals Preview: Warriors vs. Cavaliers

But after the game, during an interview with the media, J.R. explained his thought process at the end of regulation, and said that he actually knew the game was tied, but still made a decision to dribble most of the clock out.

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) defends against Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

Official Ken Mauer, the game's crew chief, initially whistled Durant for a charge, with possession returning to Cleveland with 36.4 seconds remaining and a two-point lead.

The Cavaliers still had an opportunity to win the game in the dying seconds of regulation time, but George Hill scored only one of his two free-throws - leaving the game tied 107-107 instead.

After the game, Draymond Green served what felt like harsh words for Green, who was seemingly unaware of the situation at the time. "He thought it was over", Lue said post game.

"We were told they were reviewing if I had my feet outside the line", James said.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, the questionable call would end up ultimately deciding the game.

This sent the game into overtime where the Warriors picked up massive steam and went on to win 122-114. Coach Steve Kerr admitted they "got lucky" on Smith's goof-up and "got a break" from the refs. "I seen the drive, I was outside the charge line, stepped in and took the contact". No, I don't know his state of mind. While James was clearly outside the restricted area, officials also had the chance to review whether James was in legal guarding position and changed the call to a block. I was trying to get enough space because Kevin [Durant] was standing right there. "When you have a collision of three bodies in the restricted area, sometimes if you caught that play late, sometimes there is doubt".

"I don't know", James said, and left it at that. The Cavs fell despite James, who poured in 51 points on 19 of 32 shooting and delivered eight rebounds and eight assists. It was James' eighth 40-point game during this year's playoffs, tying him with Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Famer Jerry West (1965) for most in a single postseason. "It was a huge play, a huge play". And then tonight in The Finals on the biggest stage, when our team played well, played our (butt) off, man, it ain't right.

Of course, Game 1 was a classic, perhaps throwing salt on the theory people are bored with these two teams playing each other.