LeBron James hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers.
No1 Raptors 108, No8 Wizards 98
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 8 to 14 February 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.