The first game of the NBA finals between the Cavs and Warriors was a barn burner. The series should continue to be a pulse-pounding affair. The NBA finals betting odds suggest that the series will be a close one with the Warriors prevailing, but as the three prior matchups between these teams showed, anything can happen.
Anything really did happen during Game 1, which will go down as one of the most entertaining in Finals history. Here are the top highlights.
A Controversial Overturned Call
The Cavs had plenty of momentum late in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, after LeBron James had converted a three-point play opportunity, giving his team a two-point lead with under a minute remaining.
Golden State attempted to respond to James’ big play with one of their own, and the team put the ball in Kevin Durant’s hands. He drove the lane and attacked the basket, but was met by LeBron James. Durant ran into him, and there was plenty of contact. A charging foul was called on Durant, and it appeared that the Cavs were going to be in great position to win the game.
But the play was reviewed, to see if James was in the restricted area, and the foul call ended up being reversed. A blocking foul was called on James, and Durant made both free throws to tie the game.
33-year-old LeBron James steps in to take a charge in the #NBAFinals
— Hashtag Basketball (@hashBasketball) June 1, 2018
James and the Cavs were furious about the reversed call, and the Warriors ending up winning in overtime. Had the Cavs been able to steal Game 1, they would’ve been in great position in this series, but it wasn’t to be. Still, that call looms large.
J.R. Smith’s Huge Mistake
JR Smith has treated fans to some hilarious moments over the years, both good and bad.
Smith has been known to take incredibly awful shots, from virtually anywhere on the court, and he’s also been known to put cheap hits on his opponents.
But, most importantly, he’s had some boneheaded plays, but none of them were as costly as the one he made on Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
George Hill was at the line shooting a free throw with under five seconds left, and the game tied. He missed, but Smith went up and hauled in the rebound. For some reason, he dribbled back out until the final seconds ran off the clock — rather than shooting!
JR Smith didn’t know the score?! Chaos heading into overtime… pic.twitter.com/NdKGnz30Cu
— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) June 1, 2018
Smith clearly thought the Cavs had the lead at the time, and to not know what the situation was in an NBA Finals game — that just can’t happen.
LeBron James was clearly not happy with him.
When your teammate is high AF and you don't even know what to say to him pic.twitter.com/8VilTcsTOI
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) June 1, 2018
That play may have completely swung the momentum in the 2018 NBA Finals.
Draymond Taunts LeBron
There’s no love lost between Draymond Green and LeBron James, as the two have had some epic exchanges on the court over the years.
It began in the 2015 NBA Finals, when Green and James got into it at the end of a play, and the Warriors center kicked the Cavs star. Green ended up getting suspended for Game 5, and the Cavs went on to win three straight en route to their first title in franchise history.
It’s clear their beef hasn’t settled, either, judging by what took place in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals on Thursday night. James was seen doing some celebratory gestures after hitting big shots, as he’s been known to do in games, and that clearly didn’t go over well with the Warriors players.
Late in the game, with the Warriors holding a 10-point lead in overtime, James went to the free-throw line for a pair. That’s when Green took full advantage of the opportunity — looking right at the Cavs star and mocking James’ gestures for everyone to see.
DRAYMOND TROLL GAWD pic.twitter.com/Ef95pTQGVj
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 1, 2018
If that’s any indication of what we’ll see in Game 2, then Sunday night can’t come soon enough.