Cavaliers guard George Hill missed one of his two free throws just before period expired, sending the game into an overtime the Warriors dominated behind timely baskets by Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. J.R. Smith then grabbed the rebound but lost his mind-effectively dribbling out the clock in regulation rather than attempt a shot to win. He did. James countered immediately with another driving hoop, but this time Stephen Curry responded for the Warriors with a three-point play, putting Golden State on top 107-106 with 23.5 seconds remaining.
"I just thought we were going to call a timeout. We practice in training camp, contest every shot, so I don't know why I got thrown out".
While James was moving when Durant left the ground, he still believed he was in a legal position and should have gotten the call even after it went to replay.
Golden State answered moments later with a 14-4 run, Curry and Thompson sinking 3-pointers and Durant's six points including a slam dunk to cap the spurt as the Warriors led 84-78 entering the fourth quarter.More news: Texas teen wins National Spelling Bee
The Warriors will go home breathing a sigh of relief, and the Cavaliers will feel that they were a couple of whistles, bounces, and inexplicable decisions away from stealing an epic Game 1 on the road.
"The blocked charge thing, past year in the regular season same play happened to me", Durant said.
"It was tough. He could have had a little floater but somebody was there", Lue said. "So I felt like the odds was against us from the summer". The first 47:55 of regulation were brilliantly played, with each team executing in high-level situations.
Said James: "I was outside the charge line, I stepped in, took the contact". And then tonight in the finals on the biggest stage, when our team played well, played our ass off, man, it ain't right.
The Warriors scored on their first possession of overtime when Durant drew a foul from Hill that upset James once again and never looked back, outscoring Cleveland 17-7 in the extra session.More news: Canadian dollar slides as economy slows, USA moves on tariffs
Where's Kyrie when you really need him?
"We got lucky", Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said in his postgame press conference.
"I guess the rule is you can review - you can review the call if it's inside or outside the restricted, is the rule that I know", Lue said.More news: Treatment of immigrant children dehumanizing