The Cleveland Cavaliers had as good of an opportunity as they could have asked for to steal a game from the Golden State Warriors to begin the NBA Finals, but JR Smith had other plans. Kevin Durant believes it was at that moment that his team won another title.
Durant was a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” this week, and he was asked point blank if he knew the series was over after Smith’s unprecedented mistake. He hesitated for a moment before admitting, “Yeah, I did.”
“We had a good feeling,” Durant said. “We knew we had to play well, but we knew we kind of broke them a little bit with that one.”
Kimmel also asked Durant if he felt any sympathy for Smith after Smith made such a boneheaded play.
“I’m happy that he made that decision to do that, especially with the game on the line,” Durant said with a smile. “We needed that win for the sweep.”
Smith’s lack of awareness in a tie game could not have been more costly for the Cavs. In addition to costing them a potential win in Game 1, it also indirectly led to LeBron James’ hand injury. Fans had a strong feeling the series was over after that happened, so it’s no surprise the Warriors felt the same way.