Breaking news: having LeBron James is an advantage.
At the buzzer on Wednesday,, a James’ three-pointer gave the Cavaliers a 98-95 win in Game 5 and a 3-2 series lead against the Pacers. James finished with 44 points, none bigger than his final three.
The Cavs led by as many as 12 in the win and trailed by seven at halftime before outscoring the Pacers by 15 points in the third quarter.
On the night, James finished 14-of-24 from the field with the rest of the team shooting 17-of-61. Only Kyle Korver — who finished with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting — made more than two shots in the game. Kevin Love, in particular, struggled with a 2-of-11 night, including a missed three-pointer in the game’s final minute.
James also went 15-of-15 from the free throw line in Game 5. He added in 10 rebounds and eight assists in 41 minutes for good measure.
James also won the game for the Cavs defensively. On Indiana’s last possession, he switched onto Victor Oladipo, who drove and got to the rim — only to have James come from behind the block his shot. After the Cavs collected the rebound, and called a timeout to advance the ball, James went to work.
On the inbounds pass, James took two dribbles to the top of the key, pulled up and got all net. Before James’ game-winner, the Cavs went seven-plus minutes without a made field goal.
Up next: The series now heads back to Indiana for Game 6 on Friday.