Kerr: Warriors got lucky after Smith error
Steve Kerr said the Golden State Warriors were lucky after JR Smith's bizarre mistake contributed to the Cleveland Cavaliers' game-one defeat in the NBA Finals.
Reigning NBA champions the Warriors drew first blood against the Cavaliers Thursday, triumphing 124-114 in overtime despite 51 points from LeBron James.
It was a game to forget for Cleveland's Smith, whose spectacular brain fade saw the contest head to OT in the Bay Area.
With the game tied 107-107 with 4.7 seconds remaining, George Hill missed his second free throw but Smith grabbed the offensive rebound - and unaware of the level score - he ran the ball out past the three-point line and attempted to run out the clock.
James and his Cavs team-mates urged Smith to turn around and attack the basket however it was too late as time expired.
Asked about the dramatic ending to regulation, Warriors head coach Kerr told reporters: "Disappointed we didn't get the rebound first.
"We got lucky. He could've taken a shot but he dribbled out. I guess he thought they were ahead.
"It reminded me of a play when Derek Harper dribbled the clock out with Dallas years ago. Sometimes this stuff happens. We got lucky."
James was visibly bemused and frustrated following Smith's error and the Cavaliers never recovered.
Kevin Durant and the Warriors took control in overtime, which ended with Draymond Green and Cleveland's Tristan Thompson being ejected.
"There wasn't any bad blood until the last few seconds of the game," Durant, who scored 26 points, told ESPN. "Both teams played extremely tough.
"They came out and killed us on the boards which kept them in the game. Luckily at the end of regulation they didn't get a shot out. Glad we came into overtime and woke up a bit.
"We know LeBron is going to keep coming down and trying to get a mismatch in the next match even more so we have to be prepared and rebound."
Game two is Sunday and Durant added: "We want to take care of home court. We know they are going to come out with a lot of energy and we have to be better."