Basketball / Sports

The Indiana Pacers' Paul George (24) fouls the Miami Heat's Chris Bosh in the fourth quarter in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Wednesday, May 28, 2014. Indiana won, 93-90, to cut Miami's series lead to 3-2. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/MCT)

Heat rally falls short 93-90 amid LeBron's foul-filled night

INDIANAPOLIS -- It wasn't as much basketball game as thrill ride.

Unless you were LeBron James, in which case it wasn't much of a ride at all.

Saddled to the bench for most of the night by foul trouble, James certainly will find himself well-rested when these NBA Finals returns Friday night to AmericanAirlines Arena.

That Game 6 in these best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals became necessary with the Indiana Pacers' wild 93-90 victory Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse that trimmed the Heat's series lead to 3-2.

Forward Paul George improved the Pacers' chances of forcing a Sunday Game 7 back in Indiana with 37 points, consistently stepping up in the fourth quarter after the Heat rallied to tie from an 11-point deficit earlier in the period.

While George led the Pacers, James was limited by his five fouls to seven points on 2-of-10 shooting, playing only 24 minutes.

Chris Bosh with 20 points, Dwyane Wade and Rashard Lewis with 18 apiece and Ray Allen with 15 tried to fill the void for the Heat.

They almost did, the Heat's chances ending with a potential go-ahead, final-seconds 3-point attempt by Bosh that was off.

Through all of their adversity, the Heat trimmed their 11-point deficit to 77-75 with 6:39 to play on a Wade 3-pointer, a pair of James free throws after he was fouled on a 3-pointer, and a Wade layup. James stood 1 of 8 of the field to that stage, on a run of seven consecutive misses from the field.

At that point, James was 0 for 3 from the field in the fourth, but his teammates 7 of 8.

From there, though, George converted a jumper for a 79-75 Pacers lead, with Wade responding with a 3-pointer to draw the Heat within 79-78.

George came back with a pair of free throws on the other end for an 81-78 lead, Bosh was off with a jumper, but James then tied it with a 3-pointer in transition at 81-81.

A David West bank shot put Indiana up 83-81, with a George jumper putting Indiana up 85-81. From there, Lewis converted a 3-pointer to draw the Heat within 85-84.

But back came George with a 3-pointer over James for an 88-84 lead. Bosh then banked in a 3-pointer to draw the Heat within 88-87.

But after a Pacers offensive rebound, George stepped up again with a 3-pointer, for a 91-87 Indiana lead.

From there, there was another set of scrambles, before Lewis drained a 3-pointer to draw the Heat within 91-90 with 16 seconds to play.

The Heat then pressured the Pacers' inbound attempt, with video review needed to determine possession.

Heat forward Shane Battier then was called for a foul before the Pacers' ensuing inbounds attempt, but George missed the free throw on the dead-ball foul.

The ball then went to West, who was fouled by Bosh with 13.6 seconds left. He then made only the first of his two foul shots, for a 92-90 Pacers lead, the Heat calling time out off the rebound with 12.8 seconds left.

Bosh then was off with a 3-point attempt off a James pass.

The game appeared to turn dramatically 21 seconds into the third quarter, when James was called for his fourth foul, while contesting an inside basket by Roy Hibbert.

But with James successfully imploring coach Erik Spoelstra to leave him in the game, the Heat, behind the shooting of Lewis were able to move to a 45-35 lead.

But with 8:34 left in the third, the game did turn dramatically, when James was forced to the bench with his fifth foul, while scrambling for a loose ball against Lance Stephenson.

The Heat were up 45-37 at that stage.

The third quarter would end on a George 3-pointer that put the Pacers up 64-57.

The 57 points were the Heat's fewest through three periods this season, regular season or playoffs.

The Heat's offense grew so stagnant that Spoelstra reached to the end of his bench in the third quarter for Michael Beasley, with Beasley's lack of defensive resistance allowing West to find his offense.

(c)2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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