What was J.R. Smith thinking?

By Khadrice Rollins
May 31, 2018

With Game 1 of the NBA Finals tied at 107 with 4.7 seconds left, the Cavaliers had a chance to pick up the lead with George Hill at the free throw line.

Hill made the first free throw to tie the game, but on the second, he left the shot short.

J.R. Smith was on the line fighting for the rebound with Kevin Durant and came up with the board and appeared to have a chance to go for a go-ahead basket. Instead, Smith took the ball out to the three-point line near LeBron James and after a quick verbal exchange with James as both were too far away to get a clean shot off, Smith passed it to Hill in the corner. Hill was unable to get a shot off in time and the game went to overtime.

James tried to call a timeout before time expired, but the officials did not grant it.

In another video showing James and Smith talking after the play, it appears that Smith says he thought the Cavaliers were ahead, and that was the reason he tried to just dribble out the clock.

The Warriors went on to win the game 124-114 in overtime.

After the game, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said Smith thought the game was over and the Cavaliers were in the lead and added that there's no guarantee he makes the layup.

Smith on the other hand said he knew the score was tied and expected Cleveland to use a timeout after he got the board instead of attempting a shot over Durant.

Larry Nance Jr. said it could have been anybody on the team making that play.

Game 2 will be Sunday at Oracle Arena at 8 p.m. ET.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)