- Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
- The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Golden State Warriors in heartbreaking fashion in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
- The Cavaliers loss came down to a mind-boggling decision from J.R. Smith, who seemed unaware of the score when he came down with a crucial offensive rebound with four seconds remaining.
- Another angle of Smith’s blunder shows that he had LeBron James wide open for a potential game-winning shot had he been aware the situation.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals ended in mind-boggling fashion, with the Golden State Warriors winning in overtime over the Cleveland Cavaliers after a final sequence of regulation that will be talked about for years to come.
While the final seconds before the overtime period were filled with unbelievable moments, including a controversial reversal by the referees that left LeBron James fuming, the game will be most remembered for J.R. Smith’s preposterous decision.
With the game tied at 107 and just four seconds remaining, George Hill had one free throw to potentially give the Cavaliers the lead. He missed, but Smith gathered the offensive rebound with enough time on the clock to put another shot up or get the ball to a teammate. Instead, he dribbled the ball out, apparently unaware that the game was tied despite James’ pleas at him to move towards the basket.
After the game, Smith would say he was aware of the score, but was looking for a better shot, while head coach Tyronn Lue said Smith thought the Cavs were up one and the game was over.
But if Smith had been looking for a better shot, he had one – as you can see in the picture above, LeBron James, who had already scored 49 points, was wide open at the top of the arc.
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) June 1, 2018
With all five Warriors collapsing underneath, Smith had the chance to get the ball to the best basketball player on the planet with a wide open shot. Worse yet, James was on fire, scoring 49 points through regulation, shooting 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Instead, Smith dribbled the clock out and sent the game to overtime.
Somehow, Smith’s error seems worse and worse every time you watch it.
- Tyronn Lue and the NBA world are baffled by the controversial foul change on LeBron James in Game 1 of the Finals
- J.R. Smith had a perplexing explanation for his end-of-game blunder that cost the Cavs in Game 1 of the Finals
- This photo of a very upset LeBron James sums up the brutal way the Cleveland Cavaliers blew the win in the final seconds
- A frustrated LeBron James cut his NBA Finals press conference off, told media to ‘be better tomorrow,’ after repeated questions about JR Smith’s blunder