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:
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:
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"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.