Thoughts and reaction from Indiana’s season-extending 93-90 Game 5 win against the Heat that sends this series back to Miami on Friday:
### As reality television goes, that was pretty riveting stuff. From LeBron’s most unusual night, to Paul George’s 31-point second half, to Lance Stephenson blowing sweet nothings in LeBron’s ear, to Rashard Lewis’ out-of-nowhere three-point eruption. Heck, there was even a Michael Beasley sighting. (And Toney Douglas, too!)
### James, limited to 24 minutes by foul trouble, finished with seven points, one fewer than his previous career playoff low (set against Dallas in the 2011 Finals), on 2 for 10 shooting. It wasn’t LeBron’s lowest scoring playoff game ever; he once scored three points in a regular season game. (ESPN noted that Michael Jordan never scored fewer than 15 points in a playoff game, by the way.)
“It sucks for me because I’m not able to make plays to help our team win,” LeBron said. “24 minutes is not enough for me to make an imprint on a game.”
His only baskets were an alley-oop dunk to open the game and a fourth-quarter three. He had more turnovers (three) than baskets.
“I picked up some early fouls,” James said. “It was something I’m not accustomed to. My teammates put us in position to win. That’s all I can ask for.”
### The Heat was plus 13 without James in the first half but unraveled after he left with his fifth foul with 8:34 left in the third quarter and the Heat ahead 45-37. By the time he returned with 10:30 left, the Heat was down 69-62.
### Stephenson shot 4 for 11 on a 12-point night but was an irritant, blowing in LeBron’s ear and playing stout defense on LeBron and others. He also poked his head in a conversation between Spoelstra and Norris Cole.
Asked about Stephenson’s antics, LeBron said: I’m just here to play basketball. All the extra curricular activities I don’t get into. We put ourselves in position to win.... Professionals, that's who we are. All the extra whatever, Lance wants to do I don’t really care about that. Lance is Lance. He’s going to do what he does to help his team win.”
Paul George cracked: "I hope his breath wasn't too bad for LeBron."
### George was magnificent: 21 points on 8 for 10 shooting in the fourth quarter. George (who finished with 37) and David West scored Indiana’s last 36 points over the final 13:30, shooting 13 for 17 over that stretch. All other Pacers shot 0 for 6 over the final 13:30.
"In the back of my mind the whole night was how I can be an impactful player for us," George said.
### Off a pass from LeBron, Chris Bosh had a good look on his missed potential go-ahead three-pointer with five seconds left. Remember Bosh was third in the NBA in field-goal percentage (54) in clutch moments during the season. “We’ll take that look,” Erik Spoelstra said.
Roy Hibbert said afterward he was relieved that LeBron didn’t take the shot or drive to the basket.
Asked about Hibbert’s comment, James said: “My teammates trust me I’m going to make the right play to help us win. It doesn’t matter from somebody else’s perspective. We got a great look. I was able to get into the paint, drew two” and passed to Bosh.
Bosh closed with 20 points on 9 for 21 shooting and 10 rebounds.
### Lewis, who shot 0 for 7 in the previous two games, sank 6 of 9 threes and his 18 points kept the Heat afloat amid LeBron’s foul trouble.
“We just wanted him to be aggressive,” Spoelstra said. “He had been getting good looks in these scenarios. He has an absolute neon green light. We want him attacking his opportunities like that with a clear mind. We didn’t even run a play for him.”
“His timely shots, his defensive activity, he’s been great ever since he was inserted into the lineup,” James said.
### Dwyane Wade had 18 points on 7 for 14 shooting but also six turnovers. “We have to be better, led by me, having six turnovers. That was a poor job by us, led by me. But we still gave ourselves an opportunity.
“I thought our defense was great. We gave ourselves a chance all night because of our defense. We gave ourselves a chance to win. On the road, that’s all you can ask for, even without LeBron putting his imprint on a game.”
### With James sitting out most of the third quarter with foul trouble, Spoelstra briefly summoned Beasley, who missed his only shot in three minutes in his first appearance in this series. The Heat was outscored by four points with him in the game. Spoelstra opted for Beasley over Douglas (who played five scoreless minutes in the first half) or James Jones (who didn’t play at all).
### This was huge: The Pacers --- down 42-33 at the half --- had 11 turnovers in the first half, just one in the second.
### This was odd: The Heat shot better on three-pointers (15 for 31) than two-pointers (19 for 44). “Their shot making was ridiculous, but we were still able to prevail,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
But Miami attempted only seven free throws, compared with 22 for Indiana; was outscored by 20 in the paint; committed 17 turnovers; and was outrebounded 45-38. “Some of the careless turnovers, some the entry passes where we were just careless with it, that’s some of the stuff you can clean up,” LeBron said.
### Ray Allen scored 15 but didn’t play much of the time in crunch time, with Spoelstra opting instead to use Mario Chalmers.
### Norris Cole had his worst game of the series, with three turnovers and 0 for 2 shooting. Cole replaced LeBron when he picked up his fifth foul in the third, and the Heat squandered its lead over the ensuing minutes.
### Bosh had the Heat’s best plus minus at plus 10. Udonis Haslem had the worst: minus 13 in seven minutes.
### Spoelstra: “When we needed three or four stops in a row, we couldn’t do it. We will collect ourselves and get ourselves ready for another great opportunity. They stepped up their pressure, and once they got us into a few sloppy possessions, their energy picked up.”
### Bosh's take afterward: "Game 6 is our Game 7. We defend our homecourt. We have to put this behind us, get a day of rest. Turnovers were the key for us tonight. We can't have 17 turnovers."
### Paul George: "It's not going to be like this in Game 6. We're expecting LeBron to be LeBron. [But] we're capable of winning a ball game with LeBron scoring 30 or 40 points. It's containing the role players and making sure they don't have a big night. This Game 6 is going to be about performing like champions."