A physical, heated and emotional game marked the start of the fourth finals in a row between the teams and the eighth in a row involving James, who echoed Lue's theft theme.
"There's still confusion about whether J.R. thought the game was tied or if he thought you guys were ahead", the reporter said.
Golden State went on to kill Cleveland 17-7 in overtime, further amplifying Smith's blunder.
Stephen Curry (L) in the Under Armour Curry 5 "UA Takeover_2" and LeBron James in the Nike LeBron 15. That's who he is. But the officials then called for a replay, as National Basketball Association rules allow for that type of play in the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime. A LeBron 3 in the third quarter put Cleveland up three, giving the Cavaliers their first lead of the second half.
"No, I knew we were tied", Smith said, via ESPN.
"To do what he did tonight and come out robbed, it's just not right".
Durant saw it a different way. "I don't know what was going through J.R.'s head. I don't know his state of mind". "So when they called the charge, I was surprised, but I'm glad they reviewed it". When over at the table, we then are allowed to determine whether or not he was in a legal guarding position. Green argued the foul call, but clearly slapped James in the face.
Stephen Curry scored 29 points for Golden State Warriors.
With just 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation, George Hill missed the second of two free throws with the score tied at 107. The clock expired and the game went into overtime. "He thought we were up one", Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said in his post-match press conference. James has eight games with 40 or more points in these playoffs, matching Jerry West for the most such games in a single postseason.
The game almost over, James jawed with both Curry and Klay Thompson, then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments later and made contact.
"We got lucky", Kerr said.
It's not as if the two teams would have to play in front of a bunch of empty seats, though. The Cavs are the biggest finals outsiders in 20 years, but LeBron's 51-point masterclass brought them to the verge of a massive opening victory.
Curry scored a three-pointer as the Warriors opened up a one-point lead. James is the leader of the squad.