Published: Sunday 03 June, 2018

WATCH Cavaliers’ JR Smith Insists He Knew Score was Tied in Game 1

Despite being caught on camera telling LeBron James “I thought we were ahead”, Cleveland’s JR Smith now says he knew the score was tied. To his defense, JR Smith said he thought the Cavaliers was “going to take a timeout”.

“It was a tie ballgame and we had a timeout,” Smith said during an interview after Game 1. “I tried to get enough space because, obviously, KD was standing right there. I tried to get enough space to bring it out to maybe get a shot off. And then I looked over at Bron, and he looked like he was trying to call a timeout. So I stopped. And then the game was over.”

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JR Smith’s blunder is being blamed by Cleveland’s fans as the cause of their loss to the Warriors in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. With the score tied, Smith still had plenty of time after getting the rebound off George Hill’s missed free throw. There was still 4.5 seconds remaining. But, instead of making an offensive move towards the basket, Smith dribbled the ball away from the paint and three-point arc thus wasting precious seconds.

Smith must have eventually realized what was going on and immediately passed the ball to Hill. With a couple of seconds remaining, Hill made a desperate shot but didn’t make it.

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The Golden State Warriors eventually won in overtime.