OAKLAND — With 6:17 to go in the first quarter of Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Klay Thompson broke to the left wing to receive a pass. Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith made a dive at Thompson as the pass came in, and went low, taking out Thompson’s left knee.
The Golden State Warriors’ best perimeter defender came up limping, and was helped into the locker room. He was diagnosed with a left lateral leg contusion, and while he did not return for the rest of the first quarter, he intended to tape it up and play. He started the second quarter to raucous cheers from the Oracle Arena crowd.
Every time Smith touched the ball from that point on, though, he was booed, lustily.
Thompson — who missed a career-high eight games this year — has missed just 20 games over his entire career, including the preseason and playoffs.