Bankers Life Fieldhouse was a "gold out" for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference FInals Tuesday night (photo by WTHR's Scott Swan)
The Pacers were back at home Wednesday night for a do-or-die Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals - and they got it done with a 93-90 win over the Miami Heat.
The rivals started the game neck-and-neck with Indiana holding a narrow 10-7 lead when Miami called the first timeout of the game with 5:18 left in the 1st quarter.
LeBron James was benched when the Heat called their second timeout with 2:43 left in the quarter after he was charged with his second foul of the night. Indiana pressed their advantage, leading by as much as 9 at one point. By the end of the quarter, the Pacers still held a 22-16 lead.
The Heat immediately came back in the 2nd quarter, though, going on a 17-4 run even with James on the bench. He eventually came back in the game for a short time, but quickly went back to the sidelines after picking up his third foul of the night.
When the Pacers went into the locker room at halftime, they were down 42-33.
The second half was marked by scoring streaks. First the Heat led by as much as 11 points despite LeBron being called for his 5th foul. Early in the 4th quarter, it was the Pacers who led by as much as 11 points, though that lead quickly evaporated as Miami went on a 9-0 run to bring the score to 77-75 with the Pacers on top with 6:39 left on the clock. Although the Heat kept it close for the rest of the game, they never reclaimed the lead.
A second half explosion from Paul George kept Indiana in the running - 37 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals Wednesday night; 21 of those points came in the 4th quarter alone. But the nail in the Heat's coffin came from fouls and free throws with the Pacers heading to the line multiple times in the final moments of the game, allowing them to squeak out a 3-point victory over their Eastern Conference rivals.
After not only winning, but never trailing in Game 1, the Pacers dropped three straight to Miami leaving their backs against the wall in Game 5 back at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. After Tuesday night's win for the Pacers, the Heat still lead the series 3-2 and Game 6 is in Miami. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. Friday.