Warriors survive a James scare to win

Elena Summers
June 1, 2018

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors meet for the fourth consecutive year in the NBA Finals beginning later tonight.

Tyronn Lue questioned the officiating after a controversial late call hurt the Cleveland Cavaliers in a topsy-turvy opening game of the NBA Finals. Instead, Steve Kerr and company will likely adjust the game plan to prevent the Cavs from being this close from here on out.

It's not as if the two teams would have to play in front of a bunch of empty seats, though. And LeBron was clearly four feet outside the restricted area.

James was sensational throughout the tightly contested affair which the Warriors won 124-114 when their potent offence moved up a gear in overtime.

"I just thought we were going to call a timeout, because I got the rebound, I'm pretty sure I couldn't shoot it over KD", Smith said of Kevin Durant.

The strong shooting on both sides continued in the second quarter, as each team's shooting percentage remained about 50 percent.

Last season, it was Durant who enjoyed that honor after earning his first National Basketball Association championship and guiding Golden State to its second in three seasons. But the Cavaliers were able to weather the early run and bounce back.

"There were just some plays that were kind of taken away from us".

It looked like Smith mistakenly believed Cleveland had the lead and thought he only needed to keep possession to win. He was a brutal 1 for 7 from 3-point range.

During the replay, officials can also look to determine if the defensive player was in a legal guarding position, and they decided James wasn't. "[We] Did some good things but you hate to lose a game like that the way we did, being up two, take a charge with 30 seconds left, and so whatever, man".

The lead changed several times in a nerve-racking final minute and Cleveland was in the box seat to claim the win when, down by one point, George Hill was gifted two free throws after he was fouled off the ball by Klay Thompson just outside the paint.

Perhaps the most exciting part of overtime was the Draymond Green-Tristan Thompson scuffle, but even then, the win was secured for the Warriors at that point.

It remains to be seen if Smith's blunder defines the series (or his career) but for now, the Cavs have the unenviable task of facing the same team on Sunday with another chance to steal home-court advantage.

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