Culture of Hoops

Heat Check

Just when it looked like the Indiana Pacers might have the Miami Heat on the ropes, LeBron James started doing LeBron James things.

All King James did was have a third quarter performance you will tell your great-grandchildren about. The four-time MVP went off, scoring 16 of his 30 total points in the quarter, and helping the Heat beat the Pacers 90-79 in Game 5 on Thursday night. Trust me, it didn’t even feel that close.

While last night did turn into the LeBron Show, he got a little help from his friends. Udonis Haslem, who spends most of his time banging in the paint, did his best Dirk Nowitzki impersonation, nailing one mid-range jumper after another. Haslem finished off the night with 16 points on 8-for-9 shooting from the field, proving to be an integral part of the game’s momentum swinging toward the Heat’s general direction. DwyaneShort PantsWade had a relatively quiet night, scoring only 10 points. “Quiet night” can be said for Chris Bosh as well, as he put up a seven-point, five-rebound clunker. But when you have the King on your team, sometimes just showing up in a uniform is enough.

For the Pacers, it was the frontcourt of Paul George (27/11/5), Roy Hibbert (22/6), and David West (17/8) doing most of the heavy lifting. The backcourt, well, that’s a whole different story. The Pacers guards shot a combined 2-for-13 from the field, including 0-for-5 from three-point land. They were worse than bad … horrendous, maybe? I’m not sure if there’s a word in the English language to describe that showing accurately.

The Miami Heat are now one game away from returning to the NBA Finals, and you can be sure the Indiana Pacers will be fighting for their proverbial playoff lives Saturday in hopes of forcing a conclusive Game 7.

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