LeBron James sparked a third-quarter run in which he scored or assisted on 25 of the Miami Heat's 30 points, as the Heat regained the series lead with a Game Five victory over the Indiana Pacers at American Airlines Arena on Thursday night, 90-79.
James finished with 30 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, in 44 minutes. The reigning MVP said the Heat weren't playing with a sense of urgency in the first half, and his burst in the third quarter sent a statement.
"I was aggressive," said James. "We have to show up every single minute and every single possession."
Veteran power forward Udonis Haslem was a big contributor with 16 points on eight-of-nine shooting. Point guard Mario Chalmers added 12 points and six assists.
It was a tale of two halves, as Indiana outscored Miami after the first 24 minutes, 44-40. The second half belonged to the Heat, who went on a scoring barrage behind James's stellar performance. James outscored the Pacers, 16-14 in the third quarter.
The Heat shot 50.7 percent from the field, compared to the Pacers, who shot 44.9 percent. Ball possession also figured prominently in the outcome with the Pacers committing 17 turnovers compared to the Heat's 10.
Paul George had another strong game for the Pacers. The burgeoning forward scored 27 points, and grabbed 10 rebounds, to go along with five assists. The rest of the starting frontcourt did their part, as well, as Roy Hibbert contributed 22 points, while David West added 17.
It was a particularly tough game for the Pacers starting backcourt. Lance Stephenson failed to score until the final five minutes, while George Hill missed all four of his field goal attempts.
Game Six returns to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday.