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:
When MJ Wore #12 After His Jersey Was Stolen Before a Game
15 Years Ago, LeBron, Wade and Melo Took Over All-Star Weekend
14 Years Ago, Iverson Dropped Career-High 60 Points
The Kyrie and LeBron Bromance Is Back!
Bats Have Become an Unexpected Attraction at Spurs Games
KD Giving Back to His Hometown with Durant Center
Four Years Ago, Klay Drops Record 37 Pts in One Quarter
Remembering the Night Kobe Scored 81 Points
Happy 37th Birthday Dwyane Wade
Steph Is a Few Shots Away from NBA 3-Point History
Can Harden Keep His Dominance Going?
Steph Gifts Fan Who Asked for Girls UA Kicks with New Curry 6s
Happy 34th Birthday to LeBron 👑
4 Years Ago, Kobe Passed Jordan on the NBA Scoring List
Drummond and Embiid Reignite Rivalry
Happy 24th Birthday to Giannis Antetokounmpo
D-Rose Turned Back the Clock and Put Up 50
Dubs Trolled Fergie So Hard It Became a Challenge
CP3-Rondo Blowup Was a Long Time Coming
NBA Let Players Know They Have to Cover Branded Tattoos
"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.