Led by LeBron James' brilliant third quarter, the Miami Heat took a 3-2 series lead over the Indiana Pacers with a 90-79 victory in Game 5. After falling behind by four at halftime, Miami was able to take control of the game and the series in the third and pushed Indiana to the brink of elimination.
James' outstanding play will be the lasting memory of Game 5. He took over the game after the half, tallying 16 points, four assists and four rebounds in the third quarter. He hit seven of his 10 field goal attempts and outscored Indiana, 16-13, in the quarter.
James finished the night with a game-high 30 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
The Heat opened the second half on a 7-0 run, ramping up their energy on both ends of the floor as the teams exchanged the lead. George Hill picked up an early fourth foul in the third quarter, and the Pacers began unravelling while D.J. Augustin filled in. By the time the quarter ended, the Pacers had been outscored, 30-13, and their four-point halftime lead had turned into a 13-point deficit.
The Heat continued rolling through the fourth quarter while the Pacers struggled to get back into rhythm. Indiana's solid first half was a distant memory, as Miami dominated the second half.
The Pacers' turnover struggles continued, as they coughed it up 17 times. Indiana was unable to establish their rebounding advantage as well, only grabbing one more board than Miami.
Paul George and Roy Hibbert combined for all 23 of Indiana's first-quarter points, and it wasn't until the 9:02 mark in the second quarter that another Pacer scored. George finished the night with a team-high 27 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. HIbbert scored 22 points but had only six rebounds.
The Heat are now one win away from their third straight trip to the NBA Finals. Game 6 is Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET in Indiana.