His team was on the doorstep of a huge upset. "I was outside the charge line, stepped in, took the contact". Two free throws by Kevin Durant began the run.
Golden State overcame another incredible effort from Cleveland superstar LeBron James as the Warriors turned back the Cleveland Cavaliers, 124-114, in overtime in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, May 31 (Friday, June 1 in Manila) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
When asked about Smith's blunder, James claimed he didn't know if the former knew the game was tied or not but maintained he would not give up on him, stating they have to "move on" despite a disappointing loss. While Durant had the better position, the ball arched over him. "So we had to change it to a blocking foul".
After the game, Cavs coach Tyron Lue told media that had been the case, shortly before Smith spoke to media and claimed he was in fact aware the scores were tied.
"It doesn't make sense to go review something if the review is if he's on the line or if he's close to the charge circle, that's the review". "So what are we reviewing?"
"We know LeBron is going to keep coming down and trying to get a mismatch in the next match even more so we have to be prepared and rebound".
"It has never been done, ever, in the history of the game".
Lue's public criticism of the officials is rare, but and the entire Cavs' organization was incensed over the call change and the officiating in general.
James gave the reporter a few non-answers, but quickly grew exhausted of hearing the same type of questions. So I knew once it was 30 seconds to go that they could review that situation. Durant did a classy move by defending his foe.
"The blocked charge thing, past year in the regular season same play happened to me", Durant said.
"I was trying to get enough to bring it out to get a shot off". "I seen the play happening". So I knew that. "George shot the free throw, I got the rebound", Smith said. They could have won if J.R. took the rebound and went in for the easy score instead of running towards the other side of the court with the ball.
For James, that included the hip injury to a player Cleveland acquired in the Irving blockbuster, Isaiah Thomas. This is going to be no cakewalk: the Cavaliers will take their best shot at Golden State, and in return the Warriors will have to play at their highest level to ensure they win Game 2 on Sunday night.
The Warriors outscored the Cavs 17-7 in overtime.
On Friday's Off The Bench podcast, former Cavaliers executive Raja Bell isn't picking up what Smith is putting down.