LeBron James' 'The Look' inspires Heat to beat Pacers 90-79
Miami is one victory away from NBA finals after 'The Look' spurs surge
LeBron James said a few words at half-time to try and coax something more out of the Miami Heat. Turns out, whatever he said was unnecessary.
The look on his face was all the Heat needed.
With a brilliant third quarter, James immeasurably changed not just game five of the Eastern Conference finals, but quite possibly whatever is still left to decide in this series.
James scored 16 of his 30 points in the decisive period, Udonis Haslem added 16 and the Heat pulled off a second-half rally to move one win away from the NBA finals after beating the Indiana Pacers 90-79.
"With LeBron, it's not what he says all the time," Haslem said. "It's just the look he gives."
And that look was back when the Heat needed it most, just like last year.
A year ago, the Heat lost game five of the Eastern finals at home to Boston, and needed a road win to extend the series and save what became a championship season. James scored 45 points in that win-or-else game against the Celtics, and the expression on his face - a steely stare, chilling and emotionless - is simply known around the Heat now as "The Look", immortalised by a larger-than-life photo on the wall leading to the team locker room.
This year, game six will not be accompanied by the potential for dire consequences. The Heat lead the series 3-2, with a chance to finish it off in Indiana tonight and move on to an NBA finals match-up with the San Antonio Spurs.
"That's what I came here for, to be able to compete for a championship each and every year," James said. "I'm one step away from doing it once again. It's not promised.
"Obviously, I think we all know the story. I envisioned something that was bigger as far as a team … and we've got an opportunity as a team, once again, for the third year straight to make a trip to the NBA finals."