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Cleveland Player Swears He Didn't Lose Track of Score

But JR Smith's weird decision may have cost the Cavaliers Game 1
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2018 10:04 AM CDT
Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith (5) is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry during the first half.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(Newser) – Ouch. Golden State beat Cleveland in overtime Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and everybody on Friday was still talking about the odd move by Cleveland's JR Smith late in regulation. You can watch the video here: With the score tied at 107 in the final seconds, Smith collected a rebound on a teammate's missed free throw. Instead of trying to put up a game-winning shot, Smith carried the ball away from the basket, looking for all the world like he thought his team was leading and he was trying to run out the clock. As his teammates shouted, Smith finally passed it to another player, too late. The game went into OT, and Golden State dominated.

"He thought it was over," Cavaliers coach Ty Lue said after the game, per USA Today. "He thought we were up one." Smith, however, later denied that was the case. "I knew it was tied," he said. "I thought we were going to take a timeout because I got the rebound." A team spokesperson later clarified that Lue hadn't spoken directly to Smith, reports Cleveland.com. (Its skeptical headline on the story begins, "JR Smith loses mind.") Either way, star teammate LeBron James says there's only thing to do: "You wake up with a fresh mind and you move forward." (Read more Cleveland Cavaliers stories.)

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