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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James reacts to a call during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 31, 2018.
AP Photo/Ben Margot

Caption contest: LeBron James’s agony after a J.R. Smith blunder cost the Cavs game 1

Zheping Huang
By Zheping Huang


Despite scoring 51 points—his NBA finals career high—LeBron James didn’t bring the Cleveland Cavaliers a series-opening win after a 124-114 overtime defeat to the Golden State Warriors.

The Cavs could have killed the game in regular time, except for a mind-boggling decision from its guard J.R. Smith. With 4.7 seconds on the clock, Smith grabbed an offensive rebound after his teammate George Hill missed a free throw that would have broken a 107-107 tie. But apparently losing track of the score, Smith inexplicably dribbled the ball away to run out the clock, rather than shooting or passing it or calling a timeout.

Smith’s mistake—perhaps one of the most bizarre moments in finals history—led to a viral photo of James yelling at Smith and throwing his hands up in the direction of the basket:

It has sparked a caption contest and tons of memes on Twitter. Here’re some of the best:

In China, the NBA’s biggest overseas market, Smith is dubbed “Psychotic Blade” for his unpredictability and inconsistency. Chinese internet users took the chance to drive home that point:

“Why you didn’t shoot, and looked at me?!” “I’m scared…”
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