After committing one of the most costly errors in sports history in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, J.R. Smith got a standing ovation from Golden State Warriors fans at Oracle Arena ahead of Game 2.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 4, 2018
Later, about halfway through the first quarter, Smith stepped to the free throw line and got “MVP” chants from the Golden State crowd.
Warriors fans chant "MVP" while JR Smith shoots free throws… pic.twitter.com/FrTRc4WQ7J
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 4, 2018
Both J.R. Smith and George Hill got cheers
With the Cavaliers trailing 106-107 at the end of regulation in Game 1, Hill stepped to the free-throw line. He hit the first, tying things at 107. But he short-armed the second.
Still, Smith reeled in an offensive board. Seemingly forgetting the score, Smith dribbled the ball out to near mid-court as time ran out, even with LeBron James screaming at him to either take a timeout or shoot the ball. Smith seemed to mouth to James that he thought the team was ahead, though he later told reporters he knew the score and was expecting someone else to take a timeout. Eventually, he finally admitted: “I can’t say I was sure of anything at that point.”
The Warriors, energized by Smith’s mental lapse and the huge bullet they dodged at the end of regulation, dominated overtime 17-7 and won 124-114. While Smith has been on the wrong end of plenty of jokes and much internet chatter, the Warriors’ fans jeering both him and Hill is especially cruel.
J.R. didn’t mind the chants
“I’m always a person who fans like to talk to or heckle, whatever, I like it,” Smith said after the game.
JR appreciated the MVP chants
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 4, 2018
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