JR Smith, trying to explain his epic blunder at the end of regulation Thursday night, claims he knew Game 1 of the NBA Finals was tied when he inexplicably ran out the clock.
Smith told skeptical reporters he was simply finding space for an open shot (or to call timeout.)
JR Smith says he knew the game was tied at the end of regulation. Was preparing for a timeout. pic.twitter.com/vQWVqL7Mmx
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) June 1, 2018
As one might imagine, no one was buying it, including the Golden State Warriors, who prevailed 124-114 over Cleveland in overtime.
Draymond Green: “You gotta know the score.” And then wait until you see his face when he finds out J.R. Smith claimed he knew the score was tied. pic.twitter.com/WgDhgoK0NL
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticSF) June 1, 2018
“If I thought we were ahead, I would have just held on to the ball and let them foul me,” Smith said.
It looked like Smith didn’t know the score. He even appeared to say on the court after it happened that “I thought we were up” as [LeBron] James was yelling at him.
“I thought we were all aware of what was going on,” James said. “That’s my view. So I don’t know what JR was thinking.”
Lue first said Smith thought the Cavs were ahead, and later clarified to cleveland.com that he hadn’t spoken with Smith.
“I mean, who knows if JR would have made the lay-up anyway, so it was tough,” Lue said. “You know, he had a little — he could have had a little floor, somebody was there. Then you think about calling the time out. But LeBron was open for a second, and it just happened too fast.”