Updated 01:57 PM EDT, Thu, Oct 21, 2021

Heat Smoother Pacers In Game 5 To Take 3-2 Series Advantage; James Explodes For 16 points In 3rd Quarter [VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS]

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LeBron James scored 16 of his 30 points in the third quarter and the Miami Heat cruised to an 90-79 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals series on Thursday at American Airlines Arena.

Coming off a bad loss in Indiana in Game 4, the Heat regained their control in the series behind a dominant James and their smothering defense.

James, who fouled out Game 4 after committing four fouls in the last six minutes of the ballgame, was in an attack mode throughout the ball game, always driving hard to the basket and finding teammates for wide open jumpers.

On the other hand, Indiana continued to control the paint in the early going with Roy Hibbert waxing hot again on the offensive end.

The Pacers took a 23-19 lead at the end of the first period and finished the first half strong to take 44-40 advantage at the break.

But the Heat refused to concede the game, coming out of the locker room with a different mindset, particularly on the defensive end.

With James anchoring the defense, the Heat simply shut down the driving lane for Pacers in the third quarter. James also caught fire in the period, sparking the Heat to a 30-13 rally in the period.

The Pacers never recovered from that point as Hibbert, Paul George and David West all struggled to find their shots in the fourth quarter.

Moreover, the Pacers backcourt failed to provide a much-needed boost and were outplayed by Heat's point guard Mario Chalmers (12 points and six assists) and a subpar Dwayne Wade (10 points on 3-for-8 shooting).

The Heat showcased how dominant their defense could be in Game 5 after forcing the Pacers to shot 44 percent from the field and commit 17 turnovers.

George led all Pacers scorers with 27 points while Hibbert and West chipped in with 22 and 17, respectively.

The Heat can close the series and advance to their third straight NBA Finals appearance on Saturday at Banker Life Fieldhouse.

Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers Game 5 [Video Highlights]

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