Pacers at Cavaliers (Game 5)

GAME 5 RECAP: CAVALIERS 98, PACERS 95

LeBron James records 44 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists and hits the game-winning triple to put the Cavaliers over the Pacers in Game 5, 98-95.

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GAME 5 RECAP: CAVALIERS 98, PACERS 95

LeBron James records 44 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists and hits the game-winning triple to put the Cavaliers over the Pacers in Game 5, 98-95.
Apr 25, 2018  |  00:00

Postgame: Victor Oladipo Press Conference - April 25, 2018

April 25, 2018 - Victor Oladipo speaks to the media after a tough Game 5 loss to Cavaliers.
Apr 25, 2018  |  07:04

Lance Caps The Third

April 25, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - Highlights
Apr 25, 2018  |  02:06

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - April 25, 2018

April 25, 2018 - After a close 98-95 loss in Game 5, Trevor Booker, Darren Collison, Thad Young, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner shared their thoughts.
Apr 25, 2018  |  02:44

Postgame: LeBron James Press Conference - April 25, 2018

April 25, 2018 - Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James discusses Cleveland's 98-95 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 of their First Round matchup.
Apr 25, 2018  |  11:46

Postgame: Nate McMillan Press Conference - April 25, 2018

April 25, 2018 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan discusses Indiana's 98-95 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of their first round matchup.
Apr 25, 2018  |  11:11

Thad Sabonis Give-&-Go

April 25, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - Highlights
Apr 25, 2018  |  01:37

Lance Switches Hands Mid-Air

April 25, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - Highlights
Apr 25, 2018  |  01:37

Turner Slams On The Break

April 25, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - Highlights
Apr 25, 2018  |  00:55

DC Earns And-One

April 25, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - Highlights
Apr 25, 2018  |  00:55

Game Rewind: Pacers 95, Cavaliers 98 (Game 5)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET at Quicken Loans Arena
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss






Game Recap

The Pacers fought valiantly on Wednesday night in Cleveland, but in the end, LeBron James' herculean effort was too much for Indiana.

James' buzzer-beating 3-pointer lifted the Cavaliers to a 98-95 win over the Pacers in Game 5 at Quicken Loans Arena. It was the final stroke of a masterful 44-point, 10-rebound, 8-assist performance from James and pushed the Pacers to the brink of elimination in their best-of-seven first-round series.

"I got screened by Kyle Korver a little bit," Pacers forward Thaddeus Young, who was guarding James on the final possession, said after the game. "I could have stayed closer. That last shot's on me.

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"I definitely take that on my shoulders to be able to go out there and guard guys and force them to take tough shots...but he made a hell of a shot."

The Cavaliers looked on their way to a comfortable win after a dominant third quarter, but went cold down the stretch, opening the door for a Pacers comeback.

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The Pacers trailed by eight heading into the fourth quarter and twice got within four points in the first eight minutes of the final quarter, but were unable to make it a one-possession game during that stretch.

Young's layup with 2:54 to play made it a 95-91 game and after a stop, Bojan Bogdanovic followed his own miss and dished to Young for another bucket to make it a two-point game with 2:10 remaining.

Domantas Sabonis eventually tied the game on a jumper with 33.6 seconds to play. After a timeout, James lost the ball out of bounds.

Pacers All-Star guard Victor Oladipo was mired in a horrific shooting night — 2-for-14 at that point — but head coach Nate McMillan still put the ball in his hands. Oladipo appeared to reward him, driving back James for what looked like an easy layup, but James somehow recovered to pin his shot against the backboard.

James appeared to be too late, not touching the shot until after the ball had hit the backboard, but was not called for a goaltend and the play was not reviewed.

After the game, Pacers players were confused about the call and why it was not reviewed. The apparent reasoning was that the play could only have been reviewed if the call on the floor was a goaltend, but not the other way around.

"It is what it is," Pacers center Myles Turner said. "It was clearly a goaltend. They didn't review it. There's not anything you can say about it.

"It's frustrating. It doesn't change the fact that LeBron still hit that game-winning shot, but it's still a pivotal moment in the game that I feel does need a review."

The Cavs called timeout with three seconds left, setting the stage for James' heroics.


LeBron James game-winning shot

"As a kid, you always have those 3, 2, 1 moments, and being able to have one of those moments, that's what it kind of felt like," James said. "It felt like I was a kid all over again, just playing basketball at my house (with a) makeshift hoop and my socks as a basketball and making the noise — so that's what it felt like."

The Pacers had fallen into double-digit deficits in the first half in each of the last three games, but they turned the tables at the start of Wednesday's contest. Indiana attacked the basket early and often in Game 5, scoring 12 of its first 25 points in the paint and getting eight more from the free throw line to race out to a 25-15 lead.

But James dominated the last two minutes of the first quarter, getting a layup on four consecutive possessions to trigger his own 8-0 run and make it a two-point game heading into the second quarter.

The Cavs briefly took the lead in the opening minutes of the second, but the Pacers reassumed control shortly thereafter. Four different players scored for the Blue & Gold during an 11-3 run midway through the frame that pushed the lead back to nine.

The visitors remained in front for the rest of the half, taking a 56-49 lead into the break.

The Cavs, however, came out of halftime with a sense of urgency. The hosts scored the first nine points of the third quarter — six of them coming from James — to retake the lead.

After a three-point play by Turner briefly put the Pacers back in front, Korver knocked down a three on the other end. James subsequently scored the next five points in what wound up being a 19-3 run by the Cavs to start the second half.

"He did a great job of just putting his head down and getting to where he wanted to go," Pacers forward Trevor Booker said of James, who went 14-for-24 from the field and 15-for-15 from the free throw line (13-for-13 in the second half). "I'm not sure what changed (after halftime). That was his game plan from the beginning — get to the basket, draw fouls — and he did a good job."

Cleveland extended its lead to as many as 12 points and outscored Indiana 32-17 in the frame, but a buzzer-beating three by Lance Stephenson made it 81-73 heading into the fourth quarter and opened the door for the Pacers' comeback.

Sabonis led the Pacers with 22 points off the bench on 8-of-12 shooting. Young added 16 points, while Oladipo recorded a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Korver had 19 points off the bench for Cleveland, going 5-for-9 from 3-point range. Kevin Love added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the victors.

The Pacers will return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a must-win Game 6 on Friday night at 8:00 PM ET. Despite the heartache from how Game 5 ended, the Blue & Gold remain confident as the series shifts back to Indiana.

"The series ain't over," Oladipo said. "You got to win four games for the series to be over, right? So we got a chance to win on Friday. I don't think anybody is discouraged or upset."

Inside the Numbers

Oladipo, who was a combined 10-for-35 from the field in Games 3 and 4, continued his struggles in Cleveland. He made just 2-of-15 shots overall and was 1-for-7 from 3-point range on Wednesday.

The Pacers had 17 turnovers in the loss, resulting in 20 points on the other end for the Cavaliers. Indiana had seven giveaways in the third quarter alone.

Stephenson added 12 points and four assists off the bench for Indiana.

James topped 40 points for the second time this series (he had 46 in the Cavs' win in Game 2) and the 21st time in his career, moving past Jerry West for second place all time.

Korver is averaging 16.3 points and is 15-for-26 from 3-point range in Cleveland's three wins this series. He has not scored in their two losses, going a combined 0-for-5 from the beyond the arc in Games 1 and 3.

Cleveland won despite poor offensive performances from Love (2-for-11) and JR Smith (scoreless on 0-for-8 shooting from the field and 0-for-6 from beyond the arc).

You Can Quote Me On That

"I think I got some pretty good looks today. I just feel as though I missed. Credit them. They still did a great job on me, switching out. But I feel like I got pretty good looks, some open looks that I haven’t gotten at all this series. I just missed." -Oladipo on his shooting woes

"I'll take that as far as execution on that last play. We have a timeout to talk about what we see out there and we had a foul to give. We leave here with both of them. Thaddeus had five fouls and was covering LeBron, (a) little hesitant there. We had two things we could've used in that situation that we didn’t and we go home with this foul to give and a timeout." -McMillan on the last possession of the game

"He made a heck of a move — got me leaning right and he went left. I just tried to use my recovery speed and get back up there and make a play for the ball, and I was able to make a play." -James on his controversial block of Oladipo

"I thought we had a good third quarter, finally. We've had leads going into the half the last few games, and third quarters have kind of been our Achilles heel, so it was good to come out motivated and playing hard in the third quarter. I thought guys responded well, and then at the end – what a special finish. It was amazing." -Korver

Stat of the Night

James' game-winner was the Cavaliers only field goal over the final 7:18 of the game.

Noteworthy

  • Cavaliers starting point guard and Indianapolis native George Hill missed his second straight game of the series with back spasms.
  • James has now hit four buzzer beaters to win a playoff game in his career, two of them against the Pacers. His other game-winner against Indiana came on a layup to lift the Miami Heat to a 102-100 overtime win in Game 1 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals.
  • Indiana outscored the Cavs 42-32 in the paint and 14-6 on the fastbreak on Wednesday.
  • Both teams shot 27 free throws in Game 5, but the Pacers missed six foul shots and Cleveland missed just one.
  • Including the playoffs, Cleveland is now 42-1 this season when leading after three quarters. The Cavs' lone loss came in Game 3 against the Pacers last Friday.

Up Next

The Pacers and Cavaliers will return to Indianapolis for Game 6 on Friday, April 27 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 8:00 PM ET. Game 6 will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and locally on FOX Sports Indiana. Find Tickets »

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