After the game, LeBron James grew frustrated by repeated questions about the Smith play as the media tried to determine what exactly Smith was thinking at the time. Their postseason clutch offensive rating of 77.9 was the second worst in the entire National Basketball Association.
James has been a virtual one-man postseason wrecking crew for the Cavs.
Late in Game 1 the Golden State offense was terrible, but it wasn't exactly free-flowing - that's the nature of crunch time possessions. Klay Thompson hit two 3-pointers and Durant another to seal Cleveland's fate.
Durant and the Warriors now eye a 2-0 series lead this Sunday at home.
"The Spurs were going underneath on every screen just daring him to shoot", Kerr said.
More concerning for the Warriors on Thursday was their crunch time defense, or lack thereof.
The Warriors closed the first half on a 16-5 run and began the third quarter with a 10-3 spurt for a 66-59 edge. Instead Cleveland, particularly LeBron, continued to score, and score, and score. "If James and the Cavaliers win Game 1, you know, the interest is going to skyrocket because they are going to have done what very few - except for them maybe - think they can do, which is win at Golden State", Van Gundy said. Kyle Korver has had moments and Jeff Green was a key player in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, but Love is the only player on the roster who could seemingly explode to the point where it would create serious problems for Golden State. He returned for the start of the second quarter to huge roars from the yellow-clad sell-out crowd and scored 24 points. He was surely exhausted, but it underscores how feeble the Golden State resistance was at the end of the fourth.
The Cavaliers had a golden opportunity to close the game out in regulation, when Smith claimed a rebound with five seconds remaining - and scores deadlocked.
James: How do I know that? "We're playing a great team".
The rumors were never really settled, and were just forgotten about in the midst of the NBA's regular season, as both Kyrie and LeBron had bigger issues on their plate - namely the Gordon Hayward injury for Kyrie and LeBron's lack of a supporting cast in Cleveland. The Cavs did what was needed on Durant to win, but it still wasn't enough.
Lebron James talks J.R. Smith's mistake and the late blocking foul called on him.