In the third quarter of a pivotal Game 5, Miami pulled away and the Pacers could do absolutely nothing about it. They outscored Indiana 30-13 in the period with LeBron accounting for 16 of those points single-handedly.
It was like watching Floyd Mayweather feel out his opponent for the first few rounds, biding his time until he figures him out, and then going on a relentless killing spree for the remainder of the fight. The Pacers started off well, leading by seven at one point in the first half, but looked like they left their game in the locker room during halftime.
Paul George and Roy Hibbert held the Pacers down in the first quarter, scoring all 23 of the team’s points during the first twelve minutes of the contest. And that was pretty much the story of the game. Indy’s bench was nearly non-existent. The highest scorer outside of West, George, and Hibbert was Lance Stephenson with a dismal four points.
Thus far the losing team has had made the proper adjustments every time, alternating wins throughout the series. But history is now against the Pacers and blowing Game 1 is quickly coming back to bit them in the ass. In a 2-2 split, the winner of Game 5 has won the series 83% of the time. Instead of having two more opportunities to close the series out, their only chance to advance is to beat Miami two times in a row. Chad Johnson has better odds of scoring another touchdown.
Speaking of Miami, Bron Bron finally got some help. Udonis Haslem went 8-9 from the field, and combined with James for 26 points in Miami’s outrageous 3rd quarter. Dwayne Wade and Mario Chalmers finished with 10 and 12 points respectively while Chris Bosh took a nasty block at the hands of Roy Hibbert.
And Birdman Birdman posted two blocks of his own and four points to complement his awesomely unprovoked forearm assault on Tyler Hansborough, promptly earning him a Flagrant-1. It was one of a couple in-game altercations that added to the drama of Roy Hibbert and David West slickly accusing Shane Battier of going for their knees, earlier in the day. Is there any doubt that these two teams really don’t like each other?
And now, the Miami Heat are one more win away from putting their rivals to bed and seeing the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.
Big thanks to everyone who joined us in last night’s open thread.