NBA James' greatness overshadowed by 36 befuddling seconds

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The Cavaliers appeared more upset (at least more publicly upset) about that reversed foul call than about Smith's bonehead play, but it will be Smith's bonehead play that will be remembered from this game.

Stephen Curry scored 29 points and the Warriors capitalized on Smith's mistake - which sent the game into overtime.

"They've got four Hall of Famers on their team", James said of Durant, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

The action wasn't even over in the final seconds of a decided game - Tristan Thompson picked up a Flagrant II foul and was ejected with 2.6 seconds left. The Cavs had a chance to go ahead with 4.7 seconds left, but George Hill missed the back end of two foul shots and JR Smith dribbled the ball back out as time expired, rather than look to score.

"He thought it was over. He thought we were up one", coach Tyronn Lue said.

Dynasties do not come around often in the National Basketball Association, especially like the one we are watching in Golden State.

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After the game, Smith said he knew that the score was tied - perhaps in an effort to save face.

LeBron James scoring 51 and looking every bit the best player of the world.

"I thought we were going to take a timeout because I got the rebound".

"I was trying to get enough to bring it out to get a shot off", Smith was quoted as saying by ESPN.

"I thought I read that play just as well as I read any play in my career defensively", James said. "Clearly that wasn't the case". "It is pretty remarkable when you've got a guy who is already considered one of the top few players ever to play the game can make that much improvement late in his career".

Instead, OT. And why not? The teams continued to trade haymakers down to a final minute with a pair of weird plays that turned the tide for the Warriors. LeBron James willed his Cavaliers back to the big stage with another spectacular performance against Boston.

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What made the situation worse for the Cavaliers is that J.R. Smith went for the steal and failed. LeBron made a lay-up four seconds later to give the Cavaliers the lead, and nine more seconds later, Curry scored a lay-up with a foul to give Golden State a 107-106 win.

Game two of the series is on Sunday (Monday NZT) at Oracle Arena.

Before the jump ball was even tipped up, the Cleveland Cavaliers started the NBA Finals as historic underdogs by oddsmakers and experts alike.

He notched his eighth 40-point game during this play-off run to tie Hall of Famer Jerry West's feat in 1965 for most in a single post-season.

James well feel hard done-by after he took a charge on a Durant drive with 36 seconds to play but the call was reviewed and changed to a block. Asked afterwards about the state of officiating in the NBA, Love said: "Just without getting myself in trouble, definitely didn't take a step forward tonight". Those resounding numbers were crucial to the Warriors qualification to the finals, mainly due to their poor start in the first half of most games.

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