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Warriors withstand James' 51 points to win NBA Finals Game 1

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Golden State Warriors somehow withstood LeBron James' latest brilliance on the NBA Finals stage.

A costly blunder by J.R. Smith and a disputed foul call involving James himself sure helped.

Stephen Curry scored 29 points and the Warriors capitalized on Smith's mistake that sent the game into overtime, overcoming a 51-point performance by James to beat Cleveland 124-114 in Game 1 on Thursday night.

The game nearly over, James jawed with both Curry and Klay Thompson, then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments later and made contact. After replay review, Tristan Thompson received a Flagrant 2 foul and ejection with 2.6 seconds left.

James was in utter disbelief as regulation ended stunningly: George Hill made the first of two free throws with 4.7 seconds left after being fouled by Klay Thompson, but when Smith secured the rebound of the second, he dribbled back toward halfcourt instead of shooting, apparently thinking the Cavs had a lead.

''He thought it was over. He thought we were up one,'' coach Tyronn Lue said.

Yet Smith insisted he knew the score. Green figured Smith was simply looking for James, saying, ''I would have looked for LeBron, too.''

''I just thought we were going to call a timeout. Because I got the rebound, I'm pretty sure I couldn't shoot it over KD,'' Smith said of Kevin Durant. ''If I thought we were ahead, I would have just held on to the ball so they could foul me. Clearly that wasn't the case.''

Instead, OT.

And why not? Both these teams were pushed to their limits in seven-game conference finals they each had to win on the road.

''I can't talk about a situation that way because I do some dumb stuff on the court,'' Durant said of how the fourth quarter finished. ''I don't know what was going through J.R.'s head. He made a great rebound and gave them an opportunity to win the basketball game.''

Game 2 is Sunday night back at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have won 18 of their last 19 postseason games. In 2015, when the Golden State beat the Cavs to capture the franchise's first title in 40 years, the first two games of the series went to OT - Golden State winning the opener and Cleveland Game 2.

James shot 19 for 32 to go with eight assists and eight rebounds in the opener of his eighth straight NBA Finals and ninth overall, as well as Cavs-Warriors Take IV. James notched his eighth 40-point game during this playoff run to tie Hall of Famer Jerry West's feat in 1965 for most in a single postseason.

''We've got to move on,'' James said. ''This game is over and done with. We had opportunities.''

James drove past Curry for a three-point play with 50 seconds remaining in the fourth. But James was given a foul following a review with 36.4 seconds left and Durant converted a pair of free throws to tie it at 104.

The call had initially been a charge on 2017 finals MVP Durant and James protested the change - while KD said afterward he thought it was the right decision because ''I knew he was late on the drive and I knew I had my man beat and he came over a little late.''

James called it a ''huge play'' and said ''I knew I was outside the charge line.''

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

Rules allow officials to go to replay in the final 2 minutes of regulation or in overtime to determine if a defender attempting to draw a charge was in the restricted area. When doing so, they can view if the defender was in a legal guarding position. They decided James wasn't and changed their original call.

Lue was disgusted to lose this way, saying of the overturned call: ''It's never been done, ever in the history of the game. And then tonight in the finals on the biggest stage, when our team played well, played our (butt) off, man, it ain't right.''

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

Durant struggled to find his stroke but wound up with 26 points on 8-for-22 shooting and nine rebounds.

Golden State got a serious scare when Thompson went down after Smith slid hard into the Splash Brother's left leg at the 6:17 mark of the first quarter. Thompson lay grimacing in pain then went to the locker room with what was called a bruised left leg that needed re-taping. He returned for the start of the second quarter to huge roars from the yellow-clad sellout crowd and scored 24 points. He and Curry each connected on five 3s.

Curry drained one of those way-out-there 3-pointers that have been hard to come by this postseason to beat the halftime buzzer and Golden State shot 13 for 36 from deep.

Kevin Love returned from a concussion to provide a big boost for Cleveland with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

The Warriors missed the defensive presence of 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, who was out for a fifth straight postseason game dealing with a bone bruise in his left knee. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated ahead of Game 2.

Everybody expects another wild one with so much talent on both sides.

''It was a crazy game,'' Curry said. ''... The finals, man, anything is liable to happen.''

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: James has 109 career 30-point games in the playoffs, tying Michael Jordan for most ever. ... Cleveland held a 19-4 advantage on the offensive glass, getting seven offensive rebounds in the first half to the Warriors' none. ... James' first quarter: 4 for 4 with a 3-pointer, 12 points, three assists, a steal and turnover.

Warriors: Curry's early three-point play gave him the free throw he needed for 379 to pass Rick Barry (378) for first place on the Warriors' career list. ... With his 293rd career 3 in the playoffs, made in the second quarter, Thompson passed Kobe Bryant (292) for sixth place on the NBA's list for postseason 3s. ... Kevon Looney started again in place of Iguodala, but coach Steve Kerr went to McGee after the break. ... Home run king Barry Bonds was in attendance.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:41   Kevin Love missed hook shot  
11:37   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
11:33   Bad pass turnover on Draymond Green, stolen by LeBron James  
11:10 +2 LeBron James made finger-roll layup 2-0
10:50   Kevin Durant missed jump shot  
10:45   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
10:37 +2 J.R. Smith made layup 4-0
10:27   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:26   Defensive rebound by Tristan Thompson  
10:06   Kevin Love missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:02   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
9:59 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot 4-3
9:40 +2 Kevin Love made fade-away jump shot, assist by J.R. Smith 6-3
9:27 +2 Stephen Curry made finger-roll layup 6-5
9:27   Shooting foul on Tristan Thompson  
9:27 +1 Stephen Curry made free throw 6-6
9:17   Shooting foul on Kevin Durant  
9:17 +1 LeBron James made 1st of 2 free throws 7-6
9:17 +1 LeBron James made 2nd of 2 free throws 8-6
9:03 +2 Kevin Durant made floating jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 8-8
8:43   Bad pass turnover on J.R. Smith, stolen by Draymond Green  
8:37 +2 Kevin Durant made alley-oop shot, assist by Stephen Curry 8-10
8:25 +2 Kevin Love made jump shot 10-10
8:13 +2 Klay Thompson made fade-away jump shot 10-12
7:58   J.R. Smith missed jump shot  
7:57   Team rebound  
7:57   Personal foul on Klay Thompson  
7:42 +3 LeBron James made 3-pt. jump shot 13-12
7:26   Draymond Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:21   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
7:18 +2 LeBron James made jump shot, assist by Kevin Love 15-12
7:04   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:03   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
6:52   Bad pass turnover on LeBron James, stolen by Draymond Green  
6:50   Personal foul on George Hill  
6:42 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot 15-15
6:23 +3 J.R. Smith made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by LeBron James 18-15
6:17   Personal foul on J.R. Smith  
6:04 +2 Draymond Green made layup, assist by Kevin Durant 18-17
5:44 +2 LeBron James made jump shot 20-17
5:28 +2 Jordan Bell made layup, assist by Draymond Green 20-19
5:12   Shooting foul on Jordan Bell  
5:12   LeBron James missed 1st of 2 free throws  
5:12   Team rebound  
5:12 +1 LeBron James made 2nd of 2 free throws 21-19
4:49   Stephen Curry missed driving layup, blocked by Tristan Thompson  
4:49   Team rebound  
4:46 +2 Nick Young made jump shot, assist by Stephen Curry 21-21
4:29   Kevin Love missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:26   Offensive rebound by J.R. Smith  
4:26 +2 Kevin Love made finger-roll layup, assist by J.R. Smith 23-21
4:26   Shooting foul on Nick Young  
4:26 +1 Kevin Love made free throw 24-21
4:07   Shooting foul on George Hill  
4:07 +1 Kevin Durant made 1st of 2 free throws 24-22
4:07 +1 Kevin Durant made 2nd of 2 free throws 24-23
3:49   Jeff Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:45   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
3:42   Kevin Durant missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:40   Team rebound  
3:30   Jordan Clarkson missed jump shot  
3:26   Defensive rebound by Jordan Bell  
3:17 +2 Stephen Curry made jump shot 24-25
3:04 +2 Kevin Love made layup, assist by LeBron James 26-25
2:53 +2 Jordan Bell made dunk, assist by Stephen Curry 26-27
2:43   Personal foul on Draymond Green  
2:43 +1 J.R. Smith made 1st of 2 free throws 27-27
2:43 +1 J.R. Smith made 2nd of 2 free throws 28-27
2:25   Lost ball turnover on Kevin Durant, stolen by Jeff Green  
2:11   Jeff Green missed jump shot  
2:07   Defensive rebound by Shaun Livingston  
2:03   Nick Young missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:57   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
1:46   Jordan Clarkson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:43   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
1:27 +2 Shaun Livingston made hook shot, assist by Jordan Bell 28-29
1:00 +2 Jordan Clarkson made fade-away jump shot, assist by LeBron James 30-29
0:45   Kevin Durant missed layup, blocked by Jordan Clarkson  
0:45   Defensive rebound by Jordan Clarkson  
0:38   Jordan Clarkson missed layup  
0:37   Offensive rebound by J.R. Smith  
0:18   Lost ball turnover on Jordan Clarkson, stolen by Shaun Livingston  
0:02   Kevin Durant missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   Defensive rebound by J.R. Smith  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:51   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:46   Defensive rebound by Larry Nance Jr.  
11:41 +2 LeBron James made driving dunk 32-29
11:22   Shooting foul on Kyle Korver  
11:22 +1 Patrick McCaw made 1st of 2 free throws 32-30
11:22 +1 Patrick McCaw made 2nd of 2 free throws 32-31
11:11   Bad pass turnover on LeBron James, stolen by Patrick McCaw  
11:04   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:58   Defensive rebound by LeBron James  
10:50   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
10:50   Team rebound  
10:50   Kyle Korver missed free throw  
10:37 +2 Larry Nance Jr. made reverse layup 34-31
10:27   Bad pass turnover on David West, stolen by Larry Nance Jr.  
10:13 +2 LeBron James made jump shot 36-31
9:51 +2 David West made layup, assist by Shaun Livingston 36-33
9:32   Kyle Korver missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:29   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
9:22   Stephen Curry missed jump shot  
9:19   Defensive rebound by Larry Nance Jr.  
9:00   LeBron James missed fade-away jump shot  
8:59   Offensive rebound by Larry Nance Jr.  
8:59 +2 Larry Nance Jr. made dunk 38-33
8:49 +2 Shaun Livingston made floating jump shot, assist by David West 38-35
8:25 +2 Larry Nance Jr. made dunk, assist by LeBron James 40-35
8:09   Kevin Durant missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:03   Defensive rebound by Larry Nance Jr.  
7:55 +2 LeBron James made finger-roll layup 42-35
7:42   Kevin Durant missed jump shot  
7:38   Defensive rebound by Jeff Green  
7:22 +2 LeBron James made finger-roll layup, assist by Kyle Korver 44-35
7:05 +3 Klay Thompson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kevin Durant 44-38
6:41   Jordan Clarkson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:40   Offensive rebound by Larry Nance Jr.  
6:40   Larry Nance Jr. missed dunk  
6:34   Offensive rebound by Larry Nance Jr.  
6:32   Jordan Clarkson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:30   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
6:28 +2 Stephen Curry made layup, assist by Kevin Durant 44-40
6:09 +3 George Hill made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jeff Green 47-40
6:03   Bad pass turnover on Draymond Green, stolen by George Hill  
5:54 +2 Larry Nance Jr. made dunk, assist by Jeff Green 49-40
5:36   Klay Thompson missed jump shot  
5:32   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
5:19 +2 Kevin Love made turnaround jump shot 51-40
4:59 +3 Klay Thompson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kevin Durant 51-43
4:45   Kevin Love missed jump shot  
4:42   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
4:28 +2 Stephen Curry made running Jump Shot 51-45
4:07   Lost ball turnover on Kevin Love, stolen by Draymond Green  
4:00   Klay Thompson missed floating jump shot  
3:56   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
3:40   Kevin Love missed jump shot  
3:37   Defensive rebound by Klay Thompson  
3:29   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:24   Defensive rebound by Kyle Korver  
3:07   Personal foul on Draymond Green  
2:52   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
2:35   Kevin Durant missed jump shot  
2:29   Defensive rebound by Larry Nance Jr.  
2:23   Bad pass turnover on J.R. Smith, stolen by Stephen Curry  
2:18 +3 Kevin Durant made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Stephen Curry 51-48
1:59   LeBron James missed driving layup  
1:56   Offensive rebound by Tristan Thompson  
1:56   Tristan Thompson missed dunk  
1:51 +2 LeBron James made dunk 53-48
1:51   Offensive rebound by LeBron James  
1:50 +2 Draymond Green made layup, assist by Stephen Curry 53-50
1:50   Shooting foul on George Hill  
1:50 +1 Draymond Green made free throw 53-51
1:27   Lost ball turnover on Tristan Thompson, stolen by Kevin Durant  
1:23 +2 Kevin Durant made dunk, assist by Stephen Curry 53-53
1:04   Shooting foul on Draymond Green  
1:04   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
1:04 +1 Kevin Love made free throw 54-53
1:04 +1 LeBron James made 1st of 2 free throws 55-53
1:04 +1 LeBron James made 2nd of 2 free throws 56-53
0:55   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. fade-away jump shot  
0:51   Defensive rebound by J.R. Smith  
0:48   J.R. Smith missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:43   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
0:32   Nick Young missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:28   Defensive rebound by Tristan Thompson  
0:05   Jeff Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:02   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
0:00 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kevin Durant 56-56
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:44 +2 Kevin Durant made jump shot 56-58
11:30   J.R. Smith missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:26   Offensive rebound by Kevin Love  
11:06   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
11:06   Tristan Thompson missed layup, blocked by JaVale McGee  
10:57 +2 Draymond Green made layup 56-60
10:48 +3 George Hill made 3-pt. jump shot 59-60
10:36 +2 JaVale McGee made dunk, assist by Draymond Green 59-62
10:20   George Hill missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:18   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
10:11 +2 JaVale McGee made layup, assist by Draymond Green 59-64
9:43   Kevin Love missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:37   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
9:35   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:30   Defensive rebound by Tristan Thompson  
9:18   Personal foul on Klay Thompson  
9:07   J.R. Smith missed hook shot  
9:04   Defensive rebound by Stephen Curry  
9:02 +2 Klay Thompson made layup, assist by Stephen Curry 59-66
8:45   Kevin Love missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:42   Offensive rebound by Tristan Thompson  
8:39   Tristan Thompson missed layup, blocked by Kevin Durant  
8:36   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
8:32   Out of bounds turnover on Stephen Curry  
8:12 +2 Tristan Thompson made hook shot, assist by LeBron James 61-66
7:48   JaVale McGee missed dunk  
7:46   Defensive rebound by George Hill  
7:38   George Hill missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:34   Defensive rebound by JaVale McGee  
7:17   Klay Thompson missed jump shot  
7:16   Team rebound  
7:16   Personal foul on Tristan Thompson  
7:11 +2 Kevin Durant made jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 61-68
6:47   Shooting foul on Stephen Curry  
6:47 +1 LeBron James made 1st of 2 free throws 62-68
6:47 +1 LeBron James made 2nd of 2 free throws 63-68
6:32   Kevin Durant missed jump shot  
6:26   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
6:24 +2 LeBron James made jump shot 65-68
6:11   Personal foul on George Hill  
6:02   Kevin Durant missed driving layup  
6:02   Team rebound  
5:42   Lost ball turnover on LeBron James, stolen by Draymond Green  
5:31   Draymond Green missed driving layup  
5:29   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
5:27 +3 LeBron James made 3-pt. jump shot 68-68
5:09   Kevin Durant missed fade-away jump shot  
5:08 +2 Kevon Looney made dunk 68-70
5:08   Offensive rebound by Kevon Looney  
4:48   Kevin Love missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:47   Team rebound  
4:47   Personal foul on Kevon Looney  
4:36   LeBron James missed jump shot, blocked by Kevin Durant  
4:31   Offensive rebound by LeBron James  
4:30 +2 LeBron James made turnaround jump shot 70-70
4:22   Klay Thompson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:20   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
4:16 +3 LeBron James made 3-pt. jump shot 73-70
4:03 +3 Stephen Curry made 3-pt. jump shot 73-73
3:46   LeBron James missed floating jump shot  
3:44   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
3:40   Stephen Curry missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:36   Defensive rebound by Kevin Love  
3:32   LeBron James missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:32   Team rebound  
3:32   Personal foul on Kevon Looney  
3:14   LeBron James missed floating jump shot  
3:13   Offensive rebound by Larry Nance Jr.  
3:13   Larry Nance Jr. missed dunk, blocked by Kevin Durant  
3:08   Defensive rebound by Kevin Durant  
3:08   Shooting foul on Larry Nance Jr.  
3:08 +1 Kevin Durant made 1st of 2 free throws 73-74
3:08 +1 Kevin Durant made 2nd of 2 free throws 73-75
2:59 +2 Kevin Love made hook shot, assist by Jeff Green 75-75
2:39 +2 Kevin Durant made jump shot 75-77
2:21   Bad pass turnover on Jeff Green, stolen by Draymond Green  
2:06   Draymond Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:01   Defensive rebound by LeBron James  
1:59   LeBron James missed floating jump shot  
1:52   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
1:46 +3 Klay Thompson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Draymond Green 75-80
1:22   LeBron James missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:19   Defensive rebound by Draymond Green  
1:15 +2 Kevon Looney made dunk, assist by Shaun Livingston 75-82
0:56 +2 Kevin Love made hook shot 77-82
0:46 +2 Kevin Durant made dunk, assist by Jordan Bell 77-84
0:34   Shooting foul on Kevin Durant  
0:34   Team rebound  
0:34   Larry Nance Jr. missed 1st of 2 free throws  
0:34 +1