The Golden State Warriors outlasted the Cleveland Cavaliers, 1124-114, in overtime in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The game was filled with drama, as a multitude of plays ultimately changed the course of the event.
In preparing for Game 2, we take a look at the five biggest plays that shaped Game 1:
5. The fight
As time expired in overtime, a scuffle on the court overshadowed what had been a very entertaining game. What’s more, there could be potential suspensions handed out, which would further impact the series. Tristan Thompson was ejected for fouling Shaun Livingston with less than three seconds to play, and the Cavs center later shoved the ball in Draymond Green’s face. Kevin Love also might have strayed too far from the bench area, which could make the subsequent rulings an interesting storyline in the series.
4. Klay Thompson buries corner three
The Warriors were up by two points in overtime when Klay Thompson ran to the right corner and buried a three-pointer. With everything that transpired at the end of regulation, the game felt out of reach. It was. The Warriors went on to win by 10.
3. George Hill misses a free-throw
George Hill went to the free-throw line with 4.7 seconds left in the game and the Cavaliers down by one. After making the first free-throw, his second attempt came up short. The Warriors did have a timeout left, so a make does not nearly guarantee a win–but it’s a game altering play that led to No. 2 on our list.
2. J.R. Smith dribbling out the clock
No excuse for this one, J.R. Smith forgot the score in a tie game with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation. His blunder sent the game to overtime, where Golden State jumped out to a big lead and never looked back. Smith rebounded a missed free-throw from George Hill.
1. Overturning the offensive foul
With 36.4 seconds left in regulation, LeBron James seemingly took an offensive foul. The referees, citing his proximity to the restricted area, opted to review the play. Even though LeBron clearly wasn’t in the restricted area, officials chose to change the call because LeBron appeared to be moving at the time of contact. The Cavs maintained a two-point lead at the time, and the potential four-point swing shifted the course of Game 1.
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