Paul George scored 37 points, pulled down six rebounds and recorded six steals to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 93-90 victory over the Miami Heat in game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday night. The victory cuts the Heat’s series lead to 3-2 and the two teams will head to Miami for game 6 on Friday night.
After scoring just six first half points, George poured in 31 in the second half and hit big shot after big shot down the stretch. David West added 19 points and nine rebounds and Lance Stephenson scored 12 points. The Pacers also got an important contribution from Roy Hibbert, who scored 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
LeBron James was limited to just seven points and four assists in 24 minutes because of foul trouble. Chris Bosh lead the Heat with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Rashard Lewis scored 18 points, knocking down six three-pointers. Dwyane Wade scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out seven assists and had two steals.
The Pacers looked like a desperate team in the early going racing out to an early eight-point lead. The Heat, however, quickly turned the tide in the second quarter. They opened the quarter on a 15-2 run to take control of the game and entered the break with a nine-point lead. That’s when the Pacers began to show more fight. Trailing by 11 at the 7:43 mark, the Pacers staged a 20-4 run that gave them a 57-52 lead and they entered the fourth quarter with a 61-57 advantage. The Pacers pushed the lead to 77-66, but the Heat responded with a 9-0 run. With the Pacers up 85-81, Lewis hit yet another three, but George answered with one of his own. After Bosh banked in a three on the other end, George again responded with a three to push the lead back to four. Lewis then hit yet another three to make it 91-90. With the Pacers leading 92-90, Bosh missed an open three and West went to the line with just one second to play.
Game 6 from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida is Friday night at 8:30 pm EST and the game is on ESPN.