Final Score: Miami 90, Indiana 79
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - LeBron James put the Miami Heat on his back in a
game-changing -- and potential series-defining -- third quarter.
A testy Game 5 was tight before James scored 16 of his game-high 30 points in
the third frame, carrying Miami to a 90-79 victory over the Indiana Pacers for
a 3-2 lead in an unpredictable Eastern Conference finals.
The Heat outscored Indiana by a 30-13 margin in the 12 minutes after halftime,
and the defending champions cruised down the stretch to put themselves one win
away from reaching the NBA Finals for a third straight year.
Udonis Haslem stepped up with 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting and Mario Chalmers
netted 12 for Miami, which forced 18 turnovers to overcome below-average
production from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
"They are one of the best teams that this league has ever seen," Pacers head
coach Frank Vogel said. "(But) we have a great deal of belief we can win this
series. Our backs are against the wall...and it's up to us to go out and win
Paul George finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to lead the
Pacers, whose season will be on the line at home in Game 6 on Saturday.
The Pacers had owned the battle on the glass the first four games of the
series but pulled down just one more rebound Thursday (33-32), with Roy
Hibbert grabbing only six to go with 22 points.
Indiana, after shooting 51 percent from the floor in the first half, made just
three field goals in the third quarter. Their last bucket was a jumper from
George that gave them a 53-51 edge with 5:33 remaining, which coincidentally
was the last time they held the lead.
Miami scored 16 of the next 18 points to pull away. James netted seven during
the surge while Haslem capped the three-minute swing with three consecutive
baseline jumpers from the same spot.
Haslem's final basket came as a result of James commanding multiple defenders
in the lane and dishing back outside for an open jumper and a 67-55 Heat
"That's LeBron showing his greatness and making it look easy," Heat head coach
Erik Spoelstra said of the league MVP. "He was tireless (in the third
quarter). He covered so much ground defensively and made virtually every play
for us offensively."
A 3-pointer by George and a Tyler Hansbrough layup to start the fourth pulled
the Pacers within 70-62, but they never got closer than eight the rest of the
George and Hibbert combined for all 23 of Indiana's points in the first
quarter, with the former hitting a late 3-pointer to cap his 13-point frame
and give the Pacers a 23-19 lead.
Tempers flared early in the second when Miami's Chris Andersen lowered his
shoulder into an unsuspecting Tyler Hansbrough following a made basket. The
blow sent Hansbrough to the floor, and the two bumped chests before an
Andersen shove resulted in a Flagrant 1 foul.
Andersen blocked Hansbrough on the ensuing possession, but the Heat did not
capitalize on the momentum and went into the locker room trailing by a 44-40
Hansbrough twisted his right ankle early in the fourth quarter and did not
return ... David West scored 17 points and was hit with a technical foul
midway through the third quarter when he got in a heated argument with
Chalmers and Haslem, who were each even technicals as well ... The Pacers are
10-2 this postseason when leading at halftime, with both losses coming in this
series ... Indiana's starting backcourt of Lance Stephenson and George Hill
combined for five points on 2-of-11 shooting ... Wade and Bosh scored 10 and
seven points, respectively ... The Heat outscored the Pacers in the paint,
34-32 ... Andersen hit both of his field goal attempts and is 15-of-15 from
the field in the series ... Before the game, the NBA fined James, West and
Stephenson $5,000 each for flopping in Game 4.
05/30 23:56:15 ET
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