LeBron hits victor as Cavs down Pacers in Game 5

LeBron hits victor as Cavs down Pacers in Game 5

The game-winning basket came seconds after he blocked Victor Oladipo's potential go-ahead layup, a play the Pacers thought was goaltending.

The Cavs, who had a wild on-court celebration that included James hugging rookie Cedi Osman, just as he did following a game-winner in the regular season, now lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, with Game 6 set for Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

It's been a long time since we've seen James in this position.

James received the ball with seconds remaining in Game 5, before wheeling away to net a stunning game-winning 3-pointer, blowing the roof of the Quickens Loans Arena.

James - whom Paul George once called "the smartest player in this league" - knows how to get continuation calls.

While that 3-pointer still would have been enough to give Wednesday's win to the Cavs even if a goaltend had been called, the non-call still didn't sit well with the Pacers.

Oh, and the Cavs (albeit, all their playoff games during this stretch are with James) have won an NBA-record 13 consecutive closeout games, dating to 2009.

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Even in a career stocked with incredible playoff performances, James delivered a certified instant classic Wednesday night in one of those teeter-totter Game 5s that often determine seasons.

As the series heads back to IN and the Cavs are up 3 games to 2, it'll be crucial that they allow players other than Oladipo, Collison, and Bogdanovic to beat them. Just King James doing King James things. "That third quarter got us back in the game". The Pacers can point to plenty of other reasons they lost besides the referees. Oladipo dismissed the significance of the shot on his team's chances in the series during his postgame remarks. "Of course I didn't think it was a goaltend, man. ..." Of course, IN fans don't want to hear that, but for the rest of us, it's a relief that we don't have to spend Friday staring at frame-by-frame breakdowns of Victor Oladipo's unsuccessful foray to the hoop.

"Jose has been steady for us all year", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

But game officials did not call it and the play was not reviewable by replay under National Basketball Association rules. Kevin Love was 2-of-11, and JR Smith was 0-of-8. LeBron James four times snatched victory in the last five seconds of the match, Michael Jordan three.

James and the National Basketball Association have both changed a lot in the 11 years since 2007.

Oladipo struggled offensively once again, scoring 12 points and 12 rebounds. "They have been here before and they have done it, so I just got to take notes from them, learn from them and follow their lead".

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