This was one of the weirder playoff games in recent memory.
The Pacers staved off elimination with a Game 5 93-90 victory that had all the makings of a blowout by both teams. Miami held a 11-point advantage in the second half. Then blew it. Indy built an 11-point lead. Then blew it.
For Indy, Paul George went bonkers in the second half, tallying 31 of his 37 points (including 21 in the fourth quarter). Credit George for showing up big when his team absolutely needed him the most. And credit PG24 for not folding when Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson were all but reading the Pacers their last rites. In fact, George and David West scored the Pacers last 36 points From 1:30 of the third quarter. The two combined to shoot 13-17 while everyone else tallied an 0-6 clip.
As for Miami, well, there’s really only one mark that sticks out. LeBron James only played a total of 23 minutes, tallying only seven points. James racked up five fouls in 13 minutes of play and never found his rhythm. “Home cooking?” No comment. Yet and still, Miami had a chance to win the game on the very last possession, thanks partially to Rashard Lewis six three-pointers.
Did I want ‘Bron to drive to the basket and pick up an and-1 to win the game? You damn skippy. But he’s passed to open teammates throughout his entire career and I’m perfectly fine with trusting him at this point to make the right decision (whether to take the shot or pass). Am I dreading the talk for the next 48 hours? I’m already looking for Law & Order: SVU marathons to pass the time while I avoid ESPN, sports talk radio and the experts on Twitter. Did I want Miami to piss on the graves of the Pacers in their own house? More than you’ll ever realize. It wasn’t meant to be as ‘Bron kicked out to Bosh who rimmed out a three that would’ve won the game.
Game 6 is Friday night on ESPN at 8:30.
Now excuse me while I lay in the dark and watch the ceiling fan spin: utilizing every curse word known to man aimed at the Pacers.