Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. After replay review, Tristan Thompson received a Flagrant 2 foul and ejection with 2.6 seconds left. When the two forwards approached each other, Thompson had some words before ramming the ball into Green's face.
Just one problem. Smith thought the Cavs were winning and ran out the clock.
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"I knew it was tied", Smith insisted afterward.
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Durant was notably awarded last year's Finals MVP, with many in the basketball world arguing he was slowly surpassing James as the best player in the league.
James appeared to draw a charge on Durant.
"The game is over, we can't do anything about it", Lue said. Here's a look at the play where James was slapped in the eye by Green.
The much-maligned Cavaliers' defense has shown up in the postseason, where Cleveland is allowing just 99.9 points per game, second among the 16 teams. George Hill went up, he made the first one. However, Smith was able to corral the offensive rebound following Hill's second miss, but instead of shooting or finding an open teammate, he dribbled the ball away from the key in an attempt to run out the clock - a mind-boggling move that ultimately cost Cleveland the game.
Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue told reporters after the game that Smith "thought we were up one" when he made his weird decision.
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The Warriors and Cavaliers met twice in the regular season, but it might not be wise to read too much into the results. But at the end of the day, his athleticism allows him to play some of the premier perimeter players in our league.
But, of course, Twitter took it to the next level with an explosion of equally imaginative and hilarious memes mocking Smith's obliviousness.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals is set for Sunday night at 8 p.m. E.T. It'll be televised on ABC.
LeBron James was captured by photographers looking frustrated after J.R. Smith's fumble. "So he's definitely going to start again. He did that last night, and he has to keep it up". "The biggest thing is that I feel good and talking to my doctor one of my happy places is the playoffs". Put ourselves in position to win the game.
Schwarz asked James if he knew what Smith's state of mind was at the time or if he knew the score ― several times. We had a chance to win.
Thompson has had several big games so far this playoffs, and while he finished Thursday night's game with just two points and five rebounds, he definitely offered a level of physicality and attitude that helped the Cavs very almost win Game 1 and steal home-court advantage in the series. This year, however, brings at least one new and unexpected twist: last-minute buyers can get tickets directly from the team, even after tip-off.
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