Most people were disappointed with J.R. Smith's action, including LeBron James, as it forced the game to overtime where the Warriors won with a 10-point lead.
"Tonight we played as well as we've played all postseason, and we gave ourselves a chance possession after possession after possession", James said.
It's not as if the two teams would have to play in front of a bunch of empty seats, though.
Some fans tried to point out that Smith's teammate Hill could've saved the game by making the free throw in the first place. James was calling for the ball that entire time and could only hold his arms out in shock before walking back to the huddle for overtime.
However, that contradicts Smith's reaction in the aftermath of his play, when he was caught on camera mouthing "I thought we were ahead" to LeBron. I thought we all knew what the situation was.
"I get that but missed free throws do happen. So I stopped. And then the game was over".
They deserve as much criticism as Smith does.
"They have a guy who is playing basketball at a level that I'm not sure anybody's ever seen before, when you consider everything he's doing", Kerr said. "And then you know we come into the season, and our All-Star point guard that we got from Boston [Isaiah Thomas] wasn't able to play until January". Smith dribbled out the clock which sent the game into overtime.
James shot 19 for 32 to go with eight assists and eight rebounds in the opener of his eighth straight NBA Finals and ninth overall, as well as Cavs-Warriors Take IV.
James well feel hard done-by after he took a charge on a Durant drive with 36 seconds to play but the call was reviewed and changed to a block. It was determined he was out of the restricted area, but he was not in a legal guarding position prior to Durant's separate shooting motion.
When the reporter asked James if he thought J.R.Smith knew the score at the crucial moment, James walked out of the press conference, telling the reporter "be better tomorrow".