HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Lance Stephenson didn’t spend any time in the head of LeBron James in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. But he did blow in his ear, when LeBron was actually on the floor.
Foul trouble kept LeBron on the bench (he played 24 minutes) and the Pacers, mainly Paul George, took full advantage (a magical and mesmerizing 31 of his 37 points game after halftime) in order to keep their season alive.
So we’ll get a Game 6 Friday, a game that wouldn’t have been possible without George and the Pacers holding on down the wild and frantic final stretch of Game 5.
Paul George … Winning!
Heat with one last chance, down 92-90 with a chance to win it when LeBron finds Chris Bosh for a corner 3 that bounces off the rim.
Not everyone believes that staying alive means winning this series …
One play after another here with the game on the line and PGeorge delivers!
Lance is blowing in LeBron’s ear. Seriously?
LeBron blows the pull-up 3 in his face to tie the game at 81-81 … get ready for a crazy finish!
Not having to deal with LeBron for but 13 or so minutes has given George energy late …
This is so, so wrong (but hard to argue)!
Big-time finish to the third from George and West, the guys the Pacer are supposed to play through … always.
Pacers are alive … somebody hit them with the smelling salts …
Too bad they didn’t hit Stephenson with the calm-down salts, as he gets run off of the Heat sideline as Spoelstra talks to his guys.
LeBron is sure he doesn’t have five in this game!
They’ve been doing the Walking Dead routine since the Indiana series …
That and that Central Division banner are the only ones they’ll be hoisting after this sad finish to their season …
Pretty sure he’s got it!
A devastatingly awful half of basketball for the Pacers, who are watching the life get sucked out of their season with every mistake. They have to steady this thing and play through their best players (George and West).
Throwback Wednesday … Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis combine for 16 first-half points to make up for LeBron’s absence …
Door is open for the Pacers. LeBron picks up his third foul. Pacers have to settle down and lock in now or else.
Yell all you want. But YOU have to see the floor and make the right plays, too.
And yet the Pacers’ lead doesn’t seem anywhere near large enough right now.
Pacers’ early MVP? Frank Vogel. He deployed the Luis Scola-West big-man tandem. Need only insert Chris Copeland before halftime now to satisfy his most vocal critics …
LeBron out early with two fouls. Bosh on the bench, too. Pacers in control early …
And yet, Big Roy has shown up tonight. And he’s willingly engaging the Heat on both ends, making himself a factor. #justdoit
You don’t want this man on your case, Hibbert. Not Samuel L.
And yes, I’d have paid to see Babyface croon the anthem …
Might be the last box score of the season that matters for these Pacers if they’re not careful …
Heat wearing black tonight?
SHUTTLESWORTH … I had no doubt!