The Cavaliers are going to wake up tomorrow mad at themselves for dropping Game 1.
LeBron James scored 51 points, a new playoff high. The Cavs led by 11 points at one point. And, with 4.7 seconds left. George Hill went to the free throw line for two shots — two shots that likely would have won the Cavs the game.
Hill made the first, but missed the second shot— only for J.R. Smith to go full J.R. Smith and cost the Cavs a shot at winning at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime. From there, the Warriors dominated, ultimate taking a 124-114 win and a 1-0 series lead.
James had eight assists and eight rebounds to go with his game-high point total. He also tied Michael Jordan’s record for 109 games of of 30 points or more in the playoffs. It also was James’ eighth game of 40 points or more in the 2018 playoffs.
Kevin Love added 21 points, but did finish 1-8 on three-point attempts. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 29 points with Kevin Durant adding 26 points and Klay Thompson scoring 24 points.
Hill got the line on a pass from James, with Klay Thompson grabbing him off ball. When he missed the second free throw, Smith grabbed the offense rebound and dribbled away beyond the the three-point line — only for James to yell at him for the ball and tell them the game was tied. But by the time Smith passed to Hill on the wing, it was too late.
In overtime, Golden State pushed its lead to as many as 11 — their biggest lead of the night — as Cleveland didn’t score its first overtime basket until a Jeff Green tip-in with two minutes to play. But after that, a Draymond Green three put the Warriors up 10. The Cavs were outscored 17-7 in overtime with James scoring only two points.
The game also finished tense. After James blocked a Curry shot, the two exchanged some words. When, with 2.6 seconds to go, Tristan Thompson fouled Shaun Livingston and was called for a Flagrant 2 foul for his elbows getting near Livingston’s face. Before leaving the court, he shoved Green and the two teams came together. After the referees sorted it out — Tristan Thompson remained ejected, but not called for a technical with no one else called for anything — both teams pulled everyone out.
Up next: Game 2 of the Finals will be Sunday in Oakland. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.