Wednesday, May 28 at 8:30 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 93, Heat 90, Game 5
Scott Agness | May 28, 2014
The Pacers, losers of three straight, entered Wednesday’s Game 5 with their season on the line against the Miami Heat. Despite being down 3-1 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said they needed to believe they could still win this thing.
Back at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday night, the Pacers weren't thinking about winning three games. Their simple focus was on taking it one game at a time. Having beaten the Heat three times already at home this season gave them confidence.
Indiana trailed by nine points at half, but outscored Miami by 16 points in the third period to overcome an 11-point deficit. Paul George exploded in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 in the frame – more than any other player for the entire game – to lead the Pacers to a 93-90 victory.
Montieth: George Steps Up to Plate, Homers »
The Pacers were the aggressors early in the contest, sending it inside on nearly every possession. Roy Hibbert, who was scoreless in their Game 4 loss in Miami, had four points and five rebounds in the opening quarter. The Pacers shot 50 percent, got at least four points out of each of their starters, and dominated the glass.
The two-time defending champions turned a six-point hole after one period to a seven-point advantage via a 15-2 run to open the second. It was a troubling quarter for the Pacers, as they had more turnovers (seven) than field goals (five), and were outscored 26-11. The Heat used a 9-2 spurt to end the half, capped off by a triple from Ray Allen for three of his 10 second-quarter points, and had a 42-33 lead at the break.
All this happened in spite of superstar LeBron James sitting the bench with three first-half fouls for just the second time all season. Fouls hampered James all night, as he picked up two more quick ones early in the second half, exiting the game after picking up his fifth at the 8:34 mark in the third quarter.
Related: Stephenson Has His Say »
Related: Win Changes Feel of the Series »
The Pacers’ play out of the locker room resembled their third quarter success during much of the regular season. They were in their gaps, had active hands, and for maybe the first time this series, made the Heat uncomfortable. Offensively, their passes were crisp and their cuts were sharp. The Pacers went on a 16-2 run and outscored the Heat in the period, 31-15, with all five starters contributing in their own way. George, who had 10 in the quarter, got going with numerous steals leading to breakaway dunks.
After a slow moving and low-scoring first half, the final period more than made up for it. Once the Pacers took their largest lead at 11, the Heat came back with nine unanswered. From there, it was back and forth with George continuing to keep the Pacers in front. The game was tied once late, but the Pacers never trailed.
Indiana took the lead for good with 3:34 to play on a 5-footer from West. George scored Indiana's next eight.
With 16 seconds remaining, Miami’s Rashard Lewis, who finished with 18 points, buried 3-pointer to make it a one-point game. West then went 1-for-2 at the foul line, leaving the door open for the Heat.
On the final play, James, who was guarded by George, got into the lane, but Hibbert slid over to protect the rim. James fired a pass to Chris Bosh in the left corner and Bosh's shot, which was contested well by George Hill, missed long.
With the win, the Pacers have stretched the series to at least another game. These two teams will tangle up for Game 6 in Miami on Friday night.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George scored 37 points, two shy of his playoff career-high on 15-of-28 shooting, both playoff career-highs. He assisted on six baskets and his six steals equaled his playoff-best. David West finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. George and West teamed up to score the team’s final 36 points.
One game after going scoreless, Roy Hibbert bounced back to record his second double-double of these playoffs – 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and he prevented a layup by James in the final seconds.
Chris Bosh led the Heat with 20 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double this postseason. Dwyane Wade accounted for 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Rashard Lewis, who started his second straight game, nailed 6-of-9 shots from downtown for 18 points.
LeBron James, who was limited to 24 minutes because of foul trouble, finished with a playoff career-low seven points on 2-of-10 shooting. It’s just the second time in his playoff career that he failed to reach double figures.
The Pacers had a decisive edge inside, 45-38 on the boards, including 16 offensive, and they outscored the Heat by 20 in the paint.
Miami tied its franchise playoff record with 15 3-point field goals (on 31 attempts), which also ties an Indiana franchise mark for an Indiana opponent.
The Pacers forced 17 turnovers from the Heat, who are averaging 10 per game in the playoffs, and converted them into 21 points.
Miami’s 57 points through three quarters was its lowest total of the season. Indiana’s 33 first-half points was a playoff low.
“The light needs to be on green for all of us. You need to go. You need to attack. You need to be aggressive. Paul took it and ran with it and took it to a crazy level.” – Frank Vogel on his message to the team down by nine at half
“We knew the ball was going to be in LeBron's hands. We know the types of sets that they like to run. … We were up two, and we didn't want to give up a three. But we didn't want to give up LeBron James at the rim, like we'd done the past two. So we made sure we had rim protection and scrambled on the three-point line.” – Frank Vogel on the final play
“Coach told me green light. Stay on green. D-West kept telling me, ‘Don't keep no bullets in the chamber.’ So I really just came out firing. My teammates found me, and I got hot.” – Paul George
“I think I seen every defender from the Heat tonight. I was just in the zone. Regardless of who was guarding me, I felt like that ball was going to go in that net, and that's a great, unbelievable feeling.” – Paul George
“Paul was great. He’s a superstar. I knew he was going to step up. He hit shots that he was hitting all season. I’m just happy it was tonight.” – Lance Stephenson
“(James) was going to attack and finish in the paint. And I think he had a little bit of edge … so I just wanted to go over there and help and I think GHill got my back and contested the three." – Roy Hibbert on the final play
“We just survived and got an opportunity to play another game. That’s all we talked about today, trying to get a win and go from there.” – David West
Stat of the Game
After 34 attempts in Game 4, the Heat stepped to the line just eight times – the fewest by an Indiana opponent in franchise playoff history. The Pacers outscored them at the line by six.
- Heat center Chris Andersen missed his second straight game with a left thigh contusion.
- Entering this one, the Heat had won seven consecutive Game 5s when leading 3-1.
- Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, an Indianapolis native, performed the National Anthem.
Game 6: Fri., May 30 at Miami – 8:30 p.m. ET