J.R. Smith says Game 3 loss was harder to gut in than Game 1
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the brink of elimination. After the Cavs left the Bay Area in a 2-0 hole, their hope was to turn this series around on their home floor inside a building they had only lost once in nine outings prior to Wednesday this postseason. Things looked promising in the first half as the Wine and Gold took a six-point lead into the locker room at halftime, but it all unraveled before their eyes as Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors took over the game to lift themselves into a commanding 3-0 series advantage.
It was heartache and anguish for the Cavaliers, who find themselves in an all too familiar position in these NBA Finals. No team has ever come back from being 3-0 down in the Finals, and it looks like the writing is on the wall for the Eastern Conference Champions.
Even though they find themselves in a 3-0 deficit, you can’t help feel this series could have gone a completely different way after what transpired in Game 1. On the brink of an unlikely series-opening victory against the Warriors, the Cavs were then on the receiving end of a couple of controversial officiating calls before George Hill missed a crucial free throw, and J.R. Smith had the biggest blunder of his career as he dribbled out the clock with time remaining to win the game not realizing the Cavs were not up in the contest. The Cavs being already deflated, went on to fall to the Warriors in overtime.
Fast forward two games and the Cavaliers are facing a heartbreaking sweep that would dampen what has been an incredible run to a fourth consecutive Finals appearance.
Smith himself opened up post game after the Game 3 loss, claiming it was even tougher to swallow than everything that went on in Game 1.
“I think this one hurts more because it’s at home. We had a lot of lapses on the defensive end trying to switch and guys are getting layups and dunks. I think my man had like three or four of them so this one takes the cake for sure.”
JR Smith says this loss was tougher than Game 1 pic.twitter.com/lrhOfwTg2p
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 7, 2018
Cavs’ fans will no doubt rue the missed opportunities in both Games 1 and 3, and it looks like it could be a summer of what could have been for the franchise. They will look to extend their season on Friday as they host Game 4 fighting for their championship lives.