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The ending was weird.

The postgame was weird.

At least Game 1 of what was supposed to be a lopsided NBA Finals was anything
but boring. It had a little of everything: A player stumbled and buckled Klay
Thompson’s knee to send the Warriors’ sharp-shooter limping to the locker room
in the opening minutes; let Stephen Curry get loose for a 30-footer at the
halftime buzzer; grabbed a rebound in the final seconds of regulation with the
score tied and inexplicably ran toward midcourt as if he thought the game was

And all that was just J.R. Smith.

The opener of this Cleveland-Golden State series should have been memorable
for other reasons – LeBron James scoring a playoff career-high 51
points Yogi
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 , the Warriors having three players score at least 24
and Draymond Green nearly getting a triple-double. Instead, this game’s legacy
is an overturned charge call late in regulation, Smith’s gaffes, contradictory
explanations from Cleveland and hot tempers in the final seconds.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s assessment? ”Lucky.”

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue’s assessment? ”Robbed.”

Warriors 124, Cavaliers 114, overtime. That’s what the box score says and
will forever say, and the defending champions are now one step closer to winning
their third title in four years. Golden State left Oracle Arena relieved.
Cleveland left angered. Those emotions will likely remain in place all the way
until Game 2 tips off on Sunday night.

James wants the Cavs to put it behind them.

”We’ve got to move on,” James said. ”This game is over and done with.”

Easier said than done Miguel
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 , particularly with two full off days to now deal
with, two full off days to replay everything over and over and over and over and
over again.

Let’s be clear: The Warriors aren’t here because of luck. They have a coach
who has won 80 percent of his career games. They have four All-Stars in the same
lineup. They have two NBA MVPs.

But they got every break in Game 1. Every break.

Start in the beginning, when Smith slipped and stumbled into Thompson’s knee.
It had all the makings of some sort of knee structural disaster – the hit came
from the side, Thompson twisted awkwardly, went down in a heap and was obviously
in immediate, intense pain. Thompson limped away to the Warriors’ locker room
for evaluation.

He was back in a few minutes. Big break No. 1.

”I’m happy it’s just a muscle that got strained,” Thompson said.

Then came the final seconds of the first half, when Smith went for a steal
and wound up leaving Curry wide open. Curry turned Cheap
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 , coolly buried a 35-footer as Smith slumped
over with his hands on his knees and the teams went into intermission tied. Big
break No. 2.

”The Finals, man, anything is liable to happen,” Curry said.

From his perspective, good things.

From Cleveland’s perspective, bad things.

Cleveland led by two in the final minute, poised to steal Game 1, when James
stepped up and tried to take a charge against Kevin Durant. Referee Ken Mauer
called an offensive foul Abraham
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 , but it was overturned after replay review.

”We had doubt as to whether or not James was in the restricted area,” Mauer

James was well outside the area, and the Cavs didn’t buy the explanation.

”I read that play just as well as I’ve read any play in my career, maybe in
my life,” James said.

Durant tied the game with a couple of free throws awarded on the call
reversal. Big break No. 3.

And with about 4 seconds left in the fourth, George Hill went to the line
with Cleveland down by one for two shots. Made the first. Missed the second.
Smith got the rebound, and ran away from the basket. Overtime. Big break No.

”He thought we were up one,” Lue said.

”I knew it was tied Chris
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 ,” Smith insisted.

The extra session was all Golden State. The home team left happy. The fans
that packed Oracle Arena went home happy. James went back to his hotel to deal
with blurred vision (courtesy of what appeared to be an unintentional first-half
eye poke by Green), and the Cavaliers were further angered by Shaun Livingston
following Golden State policy by taking a shot in the final seconds of a decided
game instead of just getting charged with a shot-clock turnover.

”Tonight we played as well as we’ve played all postseason, and we gave
ourselves a chance possession after possession after possession,” James said.
”There were just some plays that were kind of taken away from us. Simple as

Many onlookers thought this series would be a rout, a Golden State

If the Warriors keep getting every break, they’ll certainly be right.image

Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write
to him at treynolds(at)

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