Before we bludgeon Smith and the Cavs too much for not finishing the job, though, it is worth circling back to the enormous call reversal - one where, with 36 seconds left, officials initially called Durant for a charge before reviewing the play on video and overturning the decision and hitting James with a blocking foul. His team was on the doorstep of a huge upset. And I mean, they called a charge right?
With 2.0 seconds, Durant whipped an overhand pass to Curry, who had just raced past the half-court line.
The Cavaliers still had an opportunity to win the game in the dying seconds of regulation time, but George Hill scored only one of his two free-throws - leaving the game tied 107-107 instead.More news: Netflix shaded ABC on Twitter after 'Roseanne' got pulled because of racism
"It was determined he was out of the restricted area, but he was not in a legal guarding position prior to Durant's separate shooting motion", referee Ken Mauer told a pool reporter.
ESPN NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith said that LeBron looked at Smith like he was the most "idiotic individual on earth" and that his indecisiveness ultimately cost the Cavaliers the game. "So what are we reviewing?" No, I don't know his state of mind.
And neither could the broadcasters or the general public.
"1. LeBron James - No words describe his level of play & commitment to this game". I'm pretty sure everybody didn't think I was going to shoot it over KD.More news: China vows to retaliate after USA imposes fresh tariffs
Durant and Draymond Green were out on a fastbreak, and James came up to meet Durant rather than stay back to defend Green. "I tried to bring it out and get enough space to maybe get a shot off", Smith said. "I seen the play happening". I said no already. I knew he was late on the drive, and I knew I had my man beat and he came over a little late.
James: No. They asked me if I talked to J.R. about it.
For James, that included the hip injury to a player Cleveland acquired in the Irving blockbuster, Isaiah Thomas. Unfortunately for him and the Cavs, he missed the second one - by the way, make your damn free throws! - but Hill can thank J.R. Smith for taking all the heat off of him, because the latter grabbed the rebound with a chance to lay it in for a go-ahead bucket, or at least draw another late foul. Smith easily got around a weak box-out by Kevin Durant to secure the offensive rebound... and that's when things took a turn for the worse. He was outside the restricted, and it's just very unfortunate.
James was visibly livid with Smith and the guard claims that he thought that the Cavaliers were going to call a timeout after his rebound.More news: Korea's economic growth forecast at 3 pct. in 2018
Kevin Love returned from a concussion to provide a big boost for Cleveland with 21 points and 13 rebounds. He passed the ball to Hill, whose shot was missed as time expired. "And I was like, 'OK, I am not settling for that conversation, now that is just ridiculous". Though there will be other stars that will try to take his place, there will never be another modern-day playoff performer quite like LeBron James.