LeBron James' clutch performance saves Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5


James nailed the buzzer-beating three to lift the Cavaliers to a 98-95 win over the Indiana Pacers in game five of the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

James began the memorable sequence - which gave the Cavs a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series - with a potentially game-saving block on a driving Victor Oladipo.

Unfortunately, there isn't enough ball or player movement to force the Pacers defense into constant mistakes and instead, the offense has been set up with four three-point specialists to provide LeBron James with maximum spacing for drives.

Two of his top 10 postseason game scores as a Cavalier have come against Indy - Wednesday (which ranks 10th) and Game 2 on April 18 (a 46-12-5 showing that ranks fourth). James could not shoot 2-for-15 (OK, 3-for-15) from the field as Oladipo did and still have his team survive.

The series will now shift back to IN as the Pacers look to force a Game 7 back IN Cleveland on Sunday. If the Pacers lose Game 6, their season comes to an end. "We should've got the ref's attention. So I was able to turn and get to my spot".

LeBron James did it again, this time possibly with his team's season and even his Cleveland career on the line. They would lose. In the situation where they were tied, if James missed, the Cavs still had a chance of winning in OT. Whether it's the inexperience, he-who-must-not-be-named in the #23, or the moment in general, the Pacers have had trouble consistently executing for a quarter at a time since Game 1, and despite some nice offensive play, the Pacers went into the second quarter only up two points. Fittingly, NBA.com/Stats is now showing Korver as having the second best Player Impact Estimate (PIE) in the Cavaliers, behind James.

Said Pacers centre Myles Turner: "It's clearly a goaltend, but that doesn't change the fact that they made the game-winning shot". With free agency approaching, that's the context that's impossible to ignore as James faces his most hard first-round opponent in the upstart Pacers.

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At one stage in midweek the scores were such that Juventus could have won the title if they had beaten Napoli this evening. The injury could also see the defender potentially miss out on the club's Coppa Italia final against AC Milan on May 9.

No, really. There is actual commentary and discussion about a missed call - one that robbed IN of two points with the score tied at 95 - being irrelevant.

Oladipo called it goaltending.

"This series ain't over", Oladipo said. "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".

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

James had 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting in the first half, while his teammates had 29 on 10-for-30.

James wound up with 44 points on 14-of-24 shooting from the floor.