Paul George had 37 points and six steals to help the Indiana Pacers erase a nine point halftime deficit, but did their win do anything more than delay the inevitable for 48 hours?
George played about as well as he is capable of playing, and Roy Hibbert actually showed up, contributing 10 points and 13 rebounds. But the Indiana Pacers were still lucky to win this game, and their fans surely can’t expect them to win two more in a row against what looks like a vastly superior Miami Heat squad.
This is what it took for the Indiana Pacers to win this game:
LeBron James scored a playoff career low of seven points while sitting out most of the first three quarters with foul trouble.
James only had four assists, meaning he scored or assisted on just 19 on Miami’s 90 points. He accounted for only 21% of the Heat’s points, his lowest percentage ever in a playoff game.
The Heat scored only 22 points in the paint, their fewest in a game all season. LeBron was second in the NBA in points scored in the paint this season, behind only Blake Griffin of the Clippers, but he only made 1-5 shots in the paint in Game 5.
The Heat were so desperate for offense with James on the bench with five fouls in the 3rd quarter that Erik Spoelstra even put Michael Beasley in the game for three minutes.
Paul George scored 21 points in the 4th quarter of Game 5, the highest scoring 4th quarter by any player facing elimination in the past 15 years.
When you add it all up, the Indiana Pacers were incredibly lucky to win Game 5. It will take a miracle of epic proportions for this series to go back to Indiana for a Game 7 on Sunday.
Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. He attended Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (columnist) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters, SportsCenter anchor) . In addition to running Bullsville.net and writing for The Sports Bank and ChicagoNow (Bullsville), he is also a KHSAA baseball umpire. He’s a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. Follow Don on Twitter @Bullsville.Follow paulmbanks