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LeBron James downs Pacers with incredible third quarter

May 30, 2013, 11:55 PM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Five Getty Images

LeBron James dribbled around the perimeter, searching for a shot as the shot clock ran down late in the third quarter. Finally, realizing he couldn’t generate a quality look for himself or a teammate, LeBron rose for 25-foot 3-pointer and held his follow through as he backpedaled back on defense.

Of course, the shot hit nothing but net as LeBron slipped out of the frame.

LeBron was in his own world during the third quarter of the Heat’s 90-79 win over the Pacers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. From a driving layup early in the quarter to his shot-clock-beating 3-pointer near the period’s close, LeBron scored or assisted on 25 of 29 straight Miami points. By the time his reign of dominance ended, the Heat had turned a five-point deficit into a 14-point lead.

The Pacers didn’t come closer than eight, which they did after a quick run to begin the fourth quarter with LeBron on the bench. Like the Cavaliers have done since LeBron’s departure from Cleveland, it seemed the Heat were just reinforcing LeBron’s greatness by showing how far they fell without him.

LeBron – who finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists – has shown such brilliance throughout the playoffs, but he hadn’t shown this level concentrated dominance until now.

He hadn’t taken so many shots in a single quarter since mid March, and he hadn’t scored so many points in a quarter in the 2013 calendar year.

But when his team needed him most, its favored status to reach its third straight NBA Finals slipping away, LeBron dominated.

His third quarter tonight alone – 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, four rebounds and four assists – would have given him enough points to tie for the team lead, enough rebounds to tie for third and enough assists to tie for second. LeBron outscored the Pacers on his own, 16-13, in the quarter the Heat won, 30-13.

He chalked it up to becoming more aggressive, and that was a large part. But he’s the special player whose scoring can take over the game without suffocating everything else. He still passed well, and he still defended. That’s why the Heat dominated right along with him.

  • Miami’s third-quarter offensive rating: 151.8
  • Miami’s third-quarter defensive rating: 59.2

“That’s LeBron,” Heat coach coach Erick Spoelstra told reporters after the game, “showing his greatness and making it look easy.”

  1. pantsfreezone - May 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    When LeBron gets pissed off, you can’t stop him. Udonis Haslem needs to teach Ray Allen and Shane Battier how to shoot.

    Hats off to you Indiana, I now believe this thing is going the full 7.

  2. dolphindubs - May 31, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Aside from the bad call on only giving Anderson a flagrant 1 instead of throwing his ass out, this was the most consistent game by the refs.

    When is Joey Crawfords next game? Hopefully not until the Finals, because he will single-handedly make sure the Heat lose another if he can. He’s the worst ref/ump this side of Angel Hernandez

  3. slystone111 - May 31, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Pretty sad when a so-called superstar like LeBron has to get bailed out by Udonis Haslem. How are the Heat having so much trouble, given how weak the East is?

    • pantsfreezone - May 31, 2013 at 12:09 AM

      Are you purposely stupid or is it jest genetics? The guy went for 30-8-6 and took over an entire quarter outscoring THE ENTIRE OTHER TEAM.

      And the East is only weak after Miami, Indiana and Chicago. A run of Milwaukee-Chicago-Indiana-San Antonio to a chip, is pretty damned impressive.

      • taintedlombardis - May 31, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        Lol…the hornless Bulls, and the Pacers, an incomplete team as there ever was…

      • slystone111 - May 31, 2013 at 2:50 AM

        Please. Milwaukee sucks, Chicago was lacking Derrick Rose (and Luol Deng for most of the series), and Indiana would be a six seed at best in the West. Further, you assume an awful lot when you just jump past the Spurs to a Heat title.

    • mrwrightsdad - May 31, 2013 at 12:09 AM

      Yes Lebron should score all the points

    • borderline1988 - May 31, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      We’ll see how weak Miami supposedly is against San Antonio.

      San Antonio literally breezed through their 3 playoff series, clearly the dominate team each time. If the Heat can beat them for the Championship, then all this nonsense about the West being easier than the East will be for nought.

  4. taintedlombardis - May 31, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    His behavior was embarrassing. There’s definitely a different set of rules for Bron Bron.

  5. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 31, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    This is a tough tough matchup.

    LeBron James. WOW!

    UD! #40s getting retired one day right?

    I LOVE the NBA commercials with Chris Cornell’s “Finally Forever”.

    Let’s see, what else….. Oh yeah

    5

  6. coltzfan166 - May 31, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    That’s was an incredible third quarter. And it wasn’t just LeBron.

  7. jjones314 - May 31, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    Here come the excuses. Whenever Miami wins or Lebron has a good game, the world starts making excuses. Now the East sucks and The Pacers aren’t a good team, blah, blah blah blah blah.

    Miami won.

    LeBron had a good, solid game. And leave it at that.

    • fanofevilempire - May 31, 2013 at 7:41 AM

      most people complaining just hate LeBron, which is their right but don’t deny
      what you see, as a knickerbocker fan I wanted a chance at the Heat, a chance
      and Indiana has that, if they lose the series they were not good just like the
      knickerbockers.

      and LeBron is still the best player in the league and I say that as a huge,
      Mamba fan so be real about what you see.

    • chicitybulls - May 31, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      Goes both ways. Whenever miami loses people come on here and say it’s because of the refs.

      • cwilson6843 - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        Umm no.. when the heat wins all of you come on here blaming the refs

  8. reedme16 - May 31, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    Perception is everything! Especially when you are a hater. Bulls defense is better than anyone in the West even depleted. …Period! Pacers defense is better than the Bulls and anyone in the West. Pacers are playing defense and shooting better than they have all year.

    Just because ESPN told you that the Heat should sweep everyone doesnt mean this was ever an easy matchup. Only player missing is Granger and that has allowed for the emergence of Paul George and Lance Stephenson. Granger hasn’t played all year.

    The Spurs swept Memphis but don’t forget they struggled this same way with GS. A matchup in which they were favored to sweep.

    And saying Lebron had to look to Haslem to save him is completely stupid. obviously this person has basketball intelligence

  9. mustangs2 - May 31, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Once again, Lebron comes through when it matters. When Lebron has his jump-shot falling there is no one in the world who can guard him.
    I’m banking on a game 7 and a series that will be remembered in Lebron’s legacy.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 31, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      Maybe only 6 games and another game for the ages from LeBron in Indiana.

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