For the first time this postseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a lead in their first-round series. They can thank "The King" LeBron James, who nailed his fourth-career playoff buzzer-beater for a 98-95 win over the Indiana Pacers, and a 3-2 series lead on Wednesday night. The clutch shot ended a 44-point, 10-rebound, and eight-assist night for James, while moving his team one win closer to the second round. Before his game-winning shot as time expired, James came up big with a block on Victor Oladipo in the Pacers' final possession, a play that the NBA has admitted should've been a goaltending call. But, should've, could've, would've if you're LeBron, whose block was similar to the one he had on Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. His big night led the way on Wednesday, but Cleveland also got 19 points from Kyle Korver in the win. The Cavs trailed in the series 1-0 and 2-1, and blew double-digit leads in consecutive games on the road, one of which was a loss, but can now advance with a road victory. The Pacers could not earn the clutch win late, as their star, Oladipo, shot just 2-for-15 from the floor in the loss, and is now 12 for his last 50 shot attempts in the last three games. Indiana was led by Domantas Sabonis's 22 points, and will hope that they can wake their star up when they host the sixth game of the series on Friday night.
Thunder Rally, Rockets Advance
Two other standout performances in the NBA Playoffs took place in the Western Conference, beginning with a major comeback in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from a 25-point deficit to keep their season alive with a 107-99 win over the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the series. Russell Westbrook scored 45 points, while Paul George added 34 points and eight rebounds to help the Thunder avoid elimination after three consecutive losses. Westbrook scored 33 of his points in the second half, while adding 15 rebounds and seven assists and making 17-of-39 shots on the night. Westbrook's big night helped overcome Jae Crowder's playoff career-high 27 points, while Donovan Mitchell added 23, and Joe Ingles finished with 16 in the loss. Utah will host Game 6 of the series, which is their second chance to advance, on Friday night. Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets needed no more than five games, as they advanced past the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 122-104 win on Wednesday night. Clint Capela had a double-double of 26 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, who pulled away by outscoring the T'Wolves by 22 in the second half after trailing by four at halftime. James Harden added 24 and 12 assists, and scored 15 of his team's 30 third-quarter points. Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 14 rebounds in the loss for the Timberwolves, who were in the postseason for the first time since the 2004 campaign. Jamal Crawford added 20 points off the bench, but Minnesota trailed by double digits for a majority of the second half. The Rockets are now awaiting the winner of the entertaining Thunder-Jazz series.
Bruins Take Another Game 7 From the Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs would love to avoid Game 7s with the Boston Bruins in the future following Wednesday night. Just five years after stunning Toronto with a comeback, Game-7 win, the Bruins used a four-goal third period to take another Game 7, 7-4, and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Jake DeBrusk had the official tiebreaking goal with 14:35 to play after Torey Krug tied it earlier on in the third. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each added third-period tallies for the Bruins, who got 20 saves on 24 shots from Tuukka Rask. The Leafs had taken the lead in the third period on Kasperi Kapanen's goal, as the two teams stayed within a goal for the first 2 1/2 periods. The Leafs and Bruins also combined for four quick goals in the first half of the first period, including Danton Heinen's first-career NHL goal for Boston. Patrice Bergeron added a goal and two assists, while David Krejci had three assists to keep the Maple Leafs without a postseason series victory since 2004. DeBrusk thrived in his first career playoff series, recording seven points in seven games, including the game-winner on Wednesday. Frederik Andersen made 29 saves in what was the final game for Mike Babcock's Maple Leafs. The Bruins will advance to another division rival in the second round against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who took care of the New Jersey Devils in five games in round one. That series begins on Saturday afternoon.