JR Smith's Explanation for Game 1 Blunder Contradicts Tyronn Lue Comments

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 31: LeBron James #23 and JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers react as time expries in regulation against the Golden State Warriors  in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on May 31, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

JR Smith told reporters he dribbled away from the basket with time winding down in the fourth quarter of Game 1 because he thought the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to call their last timeout with the score tied at 107. 

"I was trying to get enough to bring it out to get a shot off," he said, according to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst. "I knew we were tied, I thought we were going to call timeout. If I thought we were ahead, I'd have held onto the ball and let them foul me."

However, that account contradicted the one head coach Tyronn Lue provided at the postgame podium: 

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Ty Lue just went on the podium and said JR told him he thought they were up one and was trying to run the clock out https://t.co/PvJgu1dh9c

The incident unfolded with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation when Smith snared an offensive rebound after George Hill missed a potential go-ahead free throw. Smith proceeded to dribble the ball out beyond the arc, and his lack of urgency suggested that he thought Cleveland had the lead: 

"We've got to move on," LeBron James said, according to Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver. "This game is over and done with. I would never give up on JR. I never give up on any of my players, any of my teammates." 

The Cavaliers will try to knot the Finals at one game apiece when Game 2 tips off Sunday night. 


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