Game 1 nets a pair of wrong-side winners

LeBron James finished with 44 points, but he was off the mark on this potential game-winner.

LeBron James finished with 44 points, but he was off the mark on this potential game-winner.

Published on Friday, 6/5/15, at 10:23 a.m. Eastern.

Gambling can be frustrating, especially in instances like Game 1 of the NBA Finals last night. If you took Cleveland plus six points or ‘under’ 204 combined points, you were on the right side for both plays.

Nevertheless, you came away a loser.

Cleveland raced out to a 29-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, hooking up bettors with a +135 payout (risk $100 to win $135) for those that backed the Cavaliers on the money line for first-quarter wagers.

With the game tied at 51-51, Cavs’ reserve guard J.R. Smith hit the last of his three first-half triples with 0.7 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Smith’s shot hooked up first-half money-line supporters with a +165 return.

But Smith wouldn’t score again. Still, Cleveland remained ahead of the number for the entire first 48 minutes. On the last possession of the fourth quarter, the Cavs got two shots for the win. First, LeBron James took a deep fadeaway shot that was way off the mark, but Iman Shumpert nearly hit a rushed attempt off the rebound at the buzzer.

In the extra session, James got away from everything he’d done so brilliantly during regulation. He quit penetrating and started settling for perimeter jumpers. Golden St. took advantage, scoring the first 10 points of OT to get ahead of the spread for the first time in the entire game. A meaningless layup by James made the final score 108-100, with the Warriors scoring a miraculous spread cover as six-point home ‘chalk.’

If not for overtime, there would have been 196 combined points (98-98) to result in an ‘under’ (204) casher. But with the extra session, gamblers on the ‘over’ were victorious.

For Game 2, most books are listing the Warriors as seven-point favorites with a total of 201.5 points. You can follow all the Game 2 line moves here.

Making matters worse for the Cavs, they saw All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving re-injure his knee at crunch time. He has until Sunday to get right, but he was listed as ‘doubtful’ early Friday.

Irving played well in Game 1, producing 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and a pair of blocked shots. James was sensational before overtime and finished with 44 points, eight boards and six assists. Smith buried three treys in the first half, but he was off the rest of the way. Smith was 3-of-13 from the field, 3-of-10 from long distance.

Steph Curry scored a team-best 26 points and dished out eight assists. Klay Thompson added 21 points and Andre Iguodala had 15 on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Iguodala played perfect defense on James on the final possession of regulation.

Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

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