The Cavaliers' J.R. Smith committed one of the biggest blunders in NBA history Thursday night, and it cost his team a chance to win Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Smith dribbled out almost all of the clock after grabbing a missed free throw in a tie game late in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Smith, the Cavs and the city of Cleveland, he thought his team was winning. The Warriors went on to win 124-114 in overtime and take a 1-0 series lead.
The play that decided Game 1. pic.twitter.com/e1UeOv57Rn- ESPN (@espn) June 1, 2018
Smith told reporters after the game that he did not think the Cavs were winning.
JR Smith says he knew the game was tied at the end of regulation. Was preparing for a timeout. pic.twitter.com/vQWVqL7Mmx- Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) June 1, 2018
That explanation is contrary, it appears, to what he said immediately after his play.
"He thought it was over. He thought we were up 1." - Ty Lue on what happened to JR in the final seconds of regulation of Game 1 #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/4CQN3qJumI- FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) June 1, 2018
LeBron James' reaction after the regulation horn sounded says it all:
When your GM trades half the team but keeps JR Smith pic.twitter.com/foeBZufzrV- Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) June 1, 2018
Still, NBA Twitter had its say:
JR definitely thought they were winning 😂😂- Josh Hart (@joshhart) June 1, 2018
Did he think they were up one?????- Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) June 1, 2018
JR DRUNK- Dejounte Murray (@DejounteMurray) June 1, 2018
Yo really JR come on bro!- Kenneth Faried (@KennethFaried35) June 1, 2018
He's really tryna take that Shaqtin A fool MVP from me lmao- Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 1, 2018
J.R. needs to be on Shaqtin a fool....😂😂😂😂😂- DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) June 1, 2018
R u kidding me!!!!! #Dumbo- Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) June 1, 2018