Breitbart Sports documented LeBron James’ magic that started at the 10:53 mark of the third quarter and included 18 contributions in less than 11 minutes to bury the Pacers in Game 5. The Heat entered that same point leading 42-41 Saturday, but this time it was Indiana’s defense that dominated the same stretch for a 27-9 run. Roy Hibbert dominated Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade shied away from driving, and Ray Allen missed three pointers and a free throw against the tough Pacers defense.
While the Heat made some three-pointers in the fourth quarter to cut the score to six points, the game was once again decided in the third quarter to force a Game 7 in Miami Monday for the right to play the Spurs for the NBA Title. Indiana defeated Miami 91-77 in Indiana.
The streak started when George Hill drilled a 26-footer to give the Pacers a 44-42 lead they would never give up.
After Wade continued to be a non-factor with a long miss at the other end, George grabbed the rebound and fired ahead to Hill, who scored for the second time in 33 seconds to make it 46-42.
Bosh then missed a shot – part of a night in which he and Wade combined for their fewest playoff points since teaming up (15) – and the Heat failed to score despite grabbing two rare offensive rebounds as Mario Chalmers missed two more times to leave the score 46-42.
Throughout the night, the 7-foot-2 Hibbert towered over the Heat, who were missing Chris Andersen due to a one-game suspension.
The Pacers kept up the shut out defense for more than five minutes, capped by Hibbert hitting a free throw and two layups to make it 53-42.
Wade finally hit an uncharacteristic three-pointer to break the streak, but it was a lonely accomplishment on a night in which he and Bosh combined to hit only four of 19 shots. In fact, the one Heat run that closed the gap to six points in the fourth quarter occurred with Wade and Bosh staying on the bench.
George quickly responded to Wade’s three-pointer with a three-pointer of his own, and then hit two free throws and a layup that gave him a personal 7-0 run and put the Pacers up 60-45.
When Hibbert scored a layup with 23 seconds left in the third quarter it capped the 27-9 run that covered the exact same stretch James had dominated in the previous game, and left the Pacers with their biggest lead of the game at 68-51.
The Pacers dominated the boards 53-33 behind Hibbert (24 points, 11 rebounds), George (28,8), David West (11, 14 despite playing through illness) and Lance Stephenson (4, 12).
The Heat will have home court advantage and Andersen back for Game 7.