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Tyronn Lue of Cleveland Cavaliers says confidence of team 'not shaken'

02 June, 2018, 18:41 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • NBA: Warriors and Cavaliers set to do battle again in Finals

The Cavs lost in overtime to the Warriors.

The Cavaliers failed to steal a rare road triumph in the series, fumbling away a chance to win the game in the final seconds of regulation.

Lue sang a different tune after the game, saying he believed Smith didn't know the score, per NBA TV.

Then the game really went off the rails when George Hill got fouled with 4.6 seconds left and the Cavs trailing by one.

"I knew we were tied", Smith said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. "No, I don't know his state of mind".

"So to turn around in the very ensuing NBA Finals [after 2017], and in Game 1 while this dude [LeBron] you came for, because you wanted to stake your claim that a new era had arrived, "It's my time now, I'm going to join forces with a super team and become a champion and a Finals MVP and I'm going to do all this stuff.' In the very first game you went against this man in the ensuing NBA Finals, he [LeBron] said 'Hold up, I haven't gone anywhere". I'm pretty sure everybody didn't think I was going to shoot it over [Kevin Durant] right there. I tried to bring it out and get enough space to maybe get a shot off.

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James got the Cavaliers open looks but they struggled to make them. "So I stopped, and the game was over".

"I don't know what J.R. was thinking", James said, refusing to speculate on Smith's thought process. "'You have so many people looking up to you, you have so many kids to inspire, and you, yourself, you have always talked about be as great as you can be every day, ' so I kind of hit that switch before the trade deadline".

No matter what LeBron says, the mistake by Smith to not take the shot on ultimately led to the Warriors winning the game and taking a lead in the series.

With 2.6 seconds left in overtime, Thompson was called for a flagrant-2 foul after he got a bit too aggressive while trying to defend a Shaun Livingston jump shot.

And in several ways, James answered in the negative.

Durant said he had a block-charge reversal in the regular season. "We understand how hard and how challenging this task is", James said.

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And it hasn't changed Lue's belief in the Cavs' chances against the Warriors.

"I don't care if he plays or not", Thompson said on a conference call.

It's the first time in NBA, NFL, MLB or National Hockey League history that the same teams are meeting four straight times in the championship round, and intrigue in the teams hasn't waned yet. "If you are a career 24 point-per-game scorer, if losing to Miami when you were in OKC, you averaged 33 off better than 50 percent shooting and then you go up against LeBron James in these NBA Finals, Game 1 - I don't expect to see you deferring to Steph Curry".

He made 19 of 32 shots, added eight rebounds and eight assists and played almost 48 minutes for a third straight game.

Lue added that the way James played, "to come up robbed, it's just not right".

But Cleveland got good production from its frontcourt - lifted by another epic performance from LeBron James, who notched 13 of his 51 points in the fourth quarter, going 6-of-7 from the field in the final period, almost guiding his squad to the upset and adding another chapter to what's already been a postseason masterpiece.

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