Lue first said Smith thought the Cavs were ahead, and later clarified to cleveland.com that he hadn't spoken with Smith.
Last month, Kerr became concerned his team's defense wouldn't return to its top form after Golden State struggled late in the regular season and even endured a particularly poor stretch in which the Warriors dropped seven of 10 games.
The series kicks off with Thursday's Game 1 at 9 p.m. ET.
Will the Warriors - ripe with talent and fresh off of beating a team that was literally created to take them down in the conference finals - win their third title in four years, cementing themselves as a dynasty? Despite the chain of events, James managed to play all 48 minutes in Game 7, going the distance in a playoff game for the first time since 2006. Smith got the rebound after the missed free throw.
James has willed his Cavs this far, saying, "I don't know how I can compare it to other seasons because I can only think about this one in the present".
That's one of the countless areas where James has gotten better one of the countless reasons why the finals are now an annual rite for him.
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"His approach has been great the last couple of days", Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.
".To do what he did tonight and to come up robbed, it's just not right". It also wasted James' 51-point effort on 19-for-32 shooting from the field to go with his eight assists and eight rebounds in 48 minutes of action. And in this series, even more might be required if he's to win his fourth ring in the past seven years. Then you think about calling the time out. He returned for the start of the second quarter to huge roars from the yellow-clad sellout crowd and scored 24 points.
The Rockets were behind by 13 after a 3 by Curry and had missed 27 straight 3-pointers when P.J. Tucker hit one from the corner to cut the lead to 89-79 midway through the quarter.
And in the final seconds, tempers were high after another case of what some basketball purists would call another case of the Warriors rubbing it in the face of an opponent.
Cavaliers: James has 109 career 30-point games in the playoffs, tying Michael Jordan for most ever. Stephen Curry draining 38-foot threes on the way to 29 points.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr said the injury, originally described as a bone bruise, had no defined timetable for recovery and is typically a matter of an individual's pain threshold. Home run king Barry Bonds was in attendance.