The Indiana Pacers did what they had to yesterday in order to keep their season alive, and that is defeat the defending champion Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals by a score of 93-90.
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The Heat were without it’s general for most of the game, as LeBron James was in foul trouble early and often. In fact, LeBron had career lows in the playoffs for minutes played and points scored.
In 24 minutes, LeBron scored only 7 points, but did have 4 assists as well. LeBron also passed up on a game tying shot in the final moments as he deferred to Chris Bosh to attempt a game winning three that he ultimately missed.
LeBron looked a bit rattled from the officiating, and the Pacers tried to make him as uncomfortable as could be. Que Lance Stephenson, who blew into James’ ear during a stoppage in play during the second half.
LeBron’s reaction was a wry smile and a shake of his head. After the game, LeBron was asked about Stephenson’s antics (Courtesy of ESPN):
"I blew in my wife’s ear before. That was definitely a defensive tactic."
Check out the notorious ear blow from Stephenson in the Vine below:
The series will now shift back to Miami on Friday night for Game 6. LeBron will need to be on his best game for the Heat to close out the series on their home floor and reach the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year.
The Pacers certainly can not expect LeBron to sit the majority of the first half in foul trouble again.