With the tie level at two wins apiece and the fifth game locked at 95 points each IN had possession of the ball and looked IN firm command to take a 3-2 series lead.
Think about that. Eleven consecutive times James' team has finished off its opponent at first chance.
He also became the oldest player, at 33, to average a triple-double per game - positive double digit statistics - over the course of a month, with 27 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 10.5 assists over 10 games in February.
BC-BKN-Pacers-Blown Call, 1st Ld-Writethru, 432 Pacers believe LeBron goaltended on block in final secondsAP Photo OHTD121, OHTD111, OHTD116Eds: Updates with National Basketball Association rules that goaltending only reviewable if call is made. The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the night tied 2-2 with the Indiana Pacers, and Game 5 looked like it was going to be a slugfest early. James' triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against in in the playoffs. "It will be talked about today, tomorrow, but Friday is Game 6 and we got to figure out a way to play a complete four-quarter game".
James smiled when asked to describe his block, which was reminiscent of the one he made on Andre Iguodala in game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. It marked the third consecutive game in which he's struggled in that area, with the veteran connecting on just 12-of-50 attempts over that time for a shooting percentage of 24 percent.
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The game plan clearly was for James to attack, especially when the Pacers switched bigger defenders on him.
"Give him credit where credit is due", Oladipo said. "We should've got the ref's attention".
"In that first half, we missed a lot of assignments", Lue said. Victor Oladipo came out very slow again in Game 5, missing a number shots at the rim that-while contested to a degree-we're used to seeing our Bloomington heartthrob finish. "They know me for 11 years of my career".
Cleveland came up with the rebound with three seconds left, called timeout and set up a play for James to work his magic. The shot, which is almost identical to his game-winner against IN, sealed the win for LeBron's Cavaliers' team (first time around) and evened the series 1-1.
The Cavs have had the upper hand since IN picked them apart IN the series opener, and one must fairly wonder whether the sense of optimism that pervaded Indiana's season is dormant now.