Final score: Cleveland Cavaliers 112, Orlando Magic 102
Analysis: In winning Game 5 to stay alive in this Eastern Conference finals series, the Cavs made key adjustments. At the same time, LeBron James delivered another epic performance by posting a triple-double. He also got plenty of perimeter help from Mo Williams (24 points, 6-of-9 on threes) and Daniel Gibson (3-of-4 on threes).
The go-getter: James came through for the Cavs with 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists. James accounted for 32 consecutive Cleveland points by either scoring or having an assist (29 consecutive in the fourth). With his team’s back against the wall, the league MVP took over.
The brick-layer: Just as he did in Game 2, Rafer Alston (Orlando) vanished. He shot 1-of-10 from the field overall, going 1-of-7 from 3-point range. The scary part about all this is Alston, who scored 26 points in Orlando’s Game 4 win, made his first shot Thursday only to miss his last nine.
The stunning stats: Orlando is known for its 3-point shooting, but Cleveland not only made one three than the Magic (9-to-8), but also shot a higher percentage (50 percent to 32 percent) from long range.
The play: With Cavaliers leading by six with 2:22 remaining in the game, James drove the ball at Dwight Howard, made the shot and drew a foul to foul him out. James completed the 3-point play to give Cleveland a 102-93 lead.
What’s next: Game 6 Saturday in Orlando, 8:30 p.m.
What to expect: The Cavaliers may be without starting two-guard Delonte West, who left the game late in the fourth quarter with a hip pointer. West will likely gut it out, but Orlando knows the Cavaliers are going to go that spread offense in which James gets the ball at the free throw line. How the Magic adjust to that will play a major role in what happens in Game 6.