This is the Paul George everyone expected to see in the Playoffs — particularly at this critical moment in the Pacers’ goal of passing the Heat and winning a championship. George scored 21 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter helping Indiana erase a double-digit deficit int he second half and take control of the game.
Still, the Heat had a chance to win. After David West split a pair of free throws, LeBron James drove to the rim needing a basket to tie the game but fed it to Chris Bosh in the corner for an open game-winning 3-pointer. It missed and the Pacers held on for a 93-90 win.
Indiana can live to fight another day.
That would certainly be thanks to Paul George breaking out and becoming the star everyone thought he would become after last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. This was his game and his moment.
Indiana finally came through in the third quarter — the period Miami has often dominated and taken control in this series — with a 31-15 quarter. The Pacers finally contained LeBron James to seven points. Somehow someone held James down.
Yet, Indiana should have some worry because the Heat still almost won the game. Literally one play away, one missed shot away, from reaching their fourth straight Finals. Miami is still very much in control of the series heading back home needing just that one win to advance.
The Pacers have hope though. Hope in their star to lead them.