Miami, FL (Sports Network) - LeBron James put the Miami Heat on his back in a game-changing -- and potential series-defining -- third quarter.
A testy Game 5 was tight before James scored 16 of his game-high 30 points in the third frame, carrying Miami to a 90-79 victory over the Indiana Pacers for a 3-2 lead in an unpredictable Eastern Conference finals.
The Heat outscored Indiana by a 30-13 margin in the 12 minutes after halftime, and the defending champions cruised down the stretch to put themselves one win away from reaching the NBA Finals for a third straight year.
Udonis Haslem stepped up with 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting and Mario Chalmers netted 12 for Miami, which forced 18 turnovers to overcome below-average production from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Paul George finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to pace the Pacers, whose season will be on the line at home in Game 6 on Saturday.
The Pacers had owned the battle on the glass the first four games of the series but pulled down just one more rebound Thursday (33-32), with Roy Hibbert grabbing only six to go with 22 points.
The Sports Network