LEBRON James just showed us all why he’s still the best player in the world.
With the scores tied at 95-95, and just 3.3 seconds to play in Game 5, James rose for a three-pointer from the top of the key, hitting it to give his Cleveland Cavaliers a 98-95 win over the Indiana Pacers.
The Cavaliers now lead their first round series 3-2, heading back to Indiana, but the game didn’t come without controversy.
With 26.3 seconds to play, James appeared to turn it over, but replays showed that the ball was more than likely off Thaddeus Young’s hand. The officials didn’t review the play. In the ensuing possession, James appeared to goal-tend Oladipo’s layup attempt, but that also wasn’t called.
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Those two questionable plays set up the moment for James to add another stunning play to his storied career.
James was dominant all game, finishing with 44 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in the win, while Kyle Korver posted 19 points for the Cavaliers.
For the Pacers, Domantas Sabonis finished with a team-high 22 points off the bench, while the team’s star, Victor Oladipo, struggled, scoring just 12 points on 2-of-15 shooting from the field.
Game 6 of the series is set for Saturday (AEST).
SCHEDULE (All times are AEST)
Cleveland Cavaliers def. Indiana Pacers 98-95. (Cavs lead series 3-2)
Toronto Raptors def. Washington Wizards 108-98 (Raptors lead series 3-2).
11:30am: Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets, Game 5
11:30am: Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder
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DEROZAN STARS AS RAPTORS DOWN WIZARDS
DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points, Kyle Lowry had 17 points and 10 assists and the Toronto Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 108-98 on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the first-round series.
Toronto rebounded after losing Games 3 and 4 in Washington to take a 3-2 series lead back to Washington for Game 6 on Friday night.
The only team in the NBA to avoid a three-game losing streak this season, the Raptors went 5-0 following back-to-back losses during the regular season, and have not lost three straight since last year’s second-round sweep against Cleveland. The last time Toronto lost three regular season games in a row was from Feb 8 to 14, 2017.
Delon Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Raptors improved to 5-0 in home Game 5s over the past five years.
John Wall had 26 points, and Bradley Beal added 20 for the Wizards. They went nearly four minutes without scoring down the stretch. Marcin Gortat had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Washington shot 8 for 24 in the fourth quarter, and Toronto had 15 rebounds in the final frame.
The Raptors won despite being out rebounded 50-35.
Toronto trailed 87-82 after a three-point play by Kelly Oubre Jr. with 8:52 left, but regained the lead with a 6-0 run over the next 1:20. After Washington’s Markieff Morris dunked with 4:06 left, Wright replied with a 3 and, after a missed shot by Wall, converted a layup off a pass from DeRozan to give the Raptors a 99-93 lead with 2:59 remaining.
Washington didn’t score again until Beal’s 3 with 16 seconds left. Before the game, players from both teams held up banners with the hashtag #TORONTOSTRONG and a moment of silence was held to honor the victims of the deadly van attack Monday in Toronto. The Raptors, the Wizards and the NBA will make a donation to a fund for victims and those affected by the incident.
D-WADE NOT READY TO DECIDE NBA FUTURE
Dwyane Wade has not decided if he will continue his NBA career.
The 36-year-old guard was non-committal on Tuesday night after his Miami Heat were eliminated by the Philadelphia 76ers in Game five of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
The 76ers beat the visiting Heat 104-91. Asked about his future, post-game,
Wade said, “One thing I ain’t worried about right now is that. That’s not my focus fresh off this NBA season, my 15th year.
“I’ll sit back and think about that. I’ll dive in and throw myself into my family. They are next on my bucket list of making sure I am there for them.
“And when it comes to the basketball side of it, which is a long time away from now, then I’ll think about that. But right now, I ain’t concerned with it.”
If his wife has any say in the matter, Wade might continue playing. Actress Gabrielle Union tweeted,
“I hope this isnt the end, but my God… @DwyaneWade has a career most people dream of. He is a damn legend. An icon. And hes cute #HeatNation”
She then retweeted a post that pointed out only two players in NBA history – Michael Jordan and LeBron James – have equalled or surpassed his career totals in games, points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocked shots, All-Star selections (12) and NBA championships (three).
Wade began this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before he was dealt to the Heat in February for a protected 2024 second-round draft pick.
He wound up averaging 11.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in a combined 67 games for Cleveland and Miami in 2017-18.
In the post-season series against Philadelphia, Wade averaged 18 points, four rebounds and 3.3 assists.
Wade holds career marks of 22.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game.