The Pacers missed several opportunities to seize Game 5 and then faded with LeBron took over in the third quarter.
The Indiana Pacers disappointing Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat exposed the immature side of the Pacers game when LeBron James mounted a third-quarter rally that was met without an expected response from Indiana.
Fantastic as he was, LeBron can't beat the Pacers by himself and even while he was devastating the Pacers with 16 third quarter points, it was still resembling Game 2 when James was also spectacular but the Pacers won the game. After James made a three-pointer with three minutes left in the third, he had 13 points in the quarter but the Pacers were still down just six points.
It wasn't until one of the 'Bronettes stepped up to help out that the deficit grew to double digits. Udonis Haslem went Game 3 on the Pacers, quickly knocking down three consecutive corner jumpers and suddenly the Pacers were down 12.
The Pacers lean on their young players to play beyond their years, but there are times when Paul George and Lance Stephenson flash their youth and lack of experience. PG had a phenomenal first half and overall wonderful game, but when LeBron went to another level, PG started trying to do too much and force plays, or more specifically, passes that simply weren't there for the Pacers.
A few poor behind-the-back or shovel passes from George highlight the Pacers second-half problems but the poor response was a team effort. The Heat cashed in 18 turnovers for 22 points and outscored the Pacers in the paint and in second-chance points. The Pacers were beat at their own game and that just can't happen. Foul trouble and poor play from Stephenson and George Hill also limited the Pacers starting unit, the most effective first five in the league, to roughly 16 minutes of play together.
Bottom line: The Pacers had a great chance to take a big step last night and simply proved not ready.
So, kudos to LeBron for taking over Game 5 to give the Heat a 3-2 series. But the Heat will have to find a different way to beat the Pacers in Game 6 unless the Pacers find another way to beat themselves.
Check out the links:
Pacers at Heat - Game 5 - Box score and highlights
Game Rewind: Pacers 79, Heat 90, Game 5 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
Pacers miss chance in 1st half; Heat's LeBron James puts them away in 3rd | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Bob Kravitz: LeBron James' true greatness emerges in 3rd quarter against Pacers | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Pacers-Heat: Rough play, tempers continue | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Pacers Backcourt Holds the Key | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
LeBron among many problems that has Indiana on brink of elimination | Fox 59 News – fox59.com
Pacers facing elimination after game 5 loss to the Heat | Fox 59 News – fox59.com
Heat take 3-2 lead on backs of Haslem, LeBron - Hot Hot Hoops
Pacers: This one stung George Hill | Pacers Insider
Pacers @ Heat Game 5 LIVE blog - 1070 The Fan
First Thoughts: Pacers-Heat Game 5 - Indy Sports Legends
With words and a look, James lifts Heat, 90-79 - AP
Howard makes his presence felt | Pacers Blogs
Miami Heat, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James take on Indiana Pacers. - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
Greg Cote: LeBron James’ one-man show is a smash hit for Miami Heat - Greg Cote - MiamiHerald.comGreg Cote: LeBron James’ one-man show is a smash hit for Miami Heat - Greg Cote - MiamiHerald.com
LeBron James powers Miami Heat past Indiana Pacers to take 3-2 series lead - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com
LeBron James Turns Irritation Into Domination - Daily Dime - ESPN
Playoff Putbacks: Pacers face long odds for NBA Finals - USA TODAY
LeBron James leads, Heat follow and Pacers pushed to brink - NBA - Ian Thomsen - SI.com
LeBron Goes Legendary in the Third Quarter and Pacers Stall Out as Miami Wins Game 5 | 8 Points, 9 Seconds
Indiana's 'barometer' busts in Game 5 as Lance Stephenson struggles - CBS Sports
Frank Vogel errs by readily sitting George Hill, Lance Stephenson with foul trouble | ProBasketballTalk
LeBron James lifts Heat to brink of NBA Finals; Miami's Big Three now the Great One - Yahoo! Sports
Roy Hibbert after Game 5: 'We have to sack up' - CBSSports.com
Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen gets flagrant foul for shoving Tyler Hansbrough during Game 5 (Video) | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports
Miami tightens the screws in Game 5, taking over in the second half and grabbing a 3-2 series lead | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports
LeBron James 'got in' Heat teammates during animated speech at halftime of Game 5 | The Point Forward - SI.com