Will Game 6 be a bounce-back for LeBron James?

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Will Game 6 be a bounce-back for LeBron James?
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 1: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers calls out during a scrimmage at The Quicken Loans Arena on October 1, 2014 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 1: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers high fives his teammates as he takes the court prior to a scrimmage at The Quicken Loans Arena on October 1, 2014 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 1: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball during a scrimmage at The Quicken Loans Arena on October 1, 2014 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: Kevin Love #0, Kyrie Irving #2 and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers poses for a photo during media day on September 26, 2014 at the Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers answers questions during media day at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 26, 2014 in Independence, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: LeBron James joined Sprite to reveal two refurbished outdoor basketball courts with painted artwork by Futura at Patterson Park on September 25, 2014 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Sprite)
AKRON, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: LeBron James joined Sprite to reveal two refurbished outdoor basketball courts with painted artwork by Futura at Patterson Park on September 25, 2014 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Sprite)
INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers poses for a photo during media day on September 26, 2014 at the Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 6: NBA player LeBron James enjoys a laugh with friends on the sideline at Ohio Stadium during the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Virginia Tech Hokies on September 6, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs hugs LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat at the end of Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat and Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs embrace after the San Antonio Spurs victory in Game Five and winning the 2014 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade covers his face as teammate LeBron James watches the San Antonio Spurs beat the Heat, 104-87, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, June 15, 2014. (Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat match up during Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs during Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Miami Heat's LeBron James during practice at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, May 29, 2014, in preparation for Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers on Friday. The Heat have a 3-2 series lead. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 28: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat addresses the media at the post game press conference after the game against the Indiana Pacers in Game Five of the East Conference Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 28, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: 2014 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - May 26: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on before Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on May 26, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - May 26: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on before Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on May 26, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 28: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat addresses the media after Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Miami Heat's LeBron James during practice at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, May 29, 2014, in preparation for Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers on Friday. The Heat have a 3-2 series lead. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
The Miami Heat's LeBron James during practice at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, May 29, 2014, in preparation for Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers on Friday. The Heat have a 3-2 series lead. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) stands on the court during team introductions before an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) dunks against the Charlotte Bobcats during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Miami Heat's LeBron James warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
FThe Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win their second straight NBA championship. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
James was announced Thursday, Dec. 26, as The Associated Press' 2013 Male Athlete of the Year, becoming the third basketball player to capture the award that has been annually awarded since 1931. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) reacts after being fouled during the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball championship against the San Antonio Spurs, Thursday, June 20, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat's LeBron James gestures as the national anthem is played before Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, June 9, 2013 in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) puts puts up a shot against Indiana Pacers' Roy Hibbert (55) during the first half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) hangs from the basket after dunking the ball during the second half of Game 2 in their NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, Friday, May 24, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) dunks against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of Game 4 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April. 28, 2013, in Milwaukee. Giving chase are Bucks' Brandon Jennings (3), Ersan Ilyasova (7), of Turkey, and Heat's Shane Battier. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who did not play, celebrates after the Heat won an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. The Heat won 108-107. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) dunks over Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, left, and center Joakim Noah during the first quarter of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charlie Arbogast)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) dunks against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) dunks the ball as New Orleans Hornets center Tyson Chandler (6) looks on in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 11, 2006, in Oklahoma City. The Hornets won 95-89. (AP Photo/Ty Russell)
Cleveland Cavalier's LeBron James readies to dunk on the Detroit Pistons in the first quarter in their NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Wednesday, April 12, 2006. James left the game in the third quarter after spraining his left ankle. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James goes up for a dunk on a first quarter breakaway against the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday, Nov. 15, 2003, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 28: Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers chases the ball against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - May 26: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Indiana Pacers during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA playoffs at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on May 26, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2014 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
LeBron James of the Miami Heat encourages his team during the first quarter in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, June 15, 2014. (Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
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MIAMI (AP) - There's one area where the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat agree.

LeBron James, they insist, will be better in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Everyone, it seems, is waiting to see what sort of bounce-back effort James brings in Game 6 of the East finals after struggling mightily in Game 5, spending long stretches as a spectator because of foul trouble. The series resumes Friday in Miami.

"The greats usually try to respond with a comeback-type of performance," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "So I think we can expect that."

Said Pacers star Paul George: "LeBron's going to be LeBron. ... Our hands are going to be full with LeBron. We know that."

Sounds like a safe assumption, since James' final stat line in Game 5 on Wednesday night - seven points, five fouls, two field goals, two air balls, one ear blown into by Indiana's Lance Stephenson - was one of the worst in his career.

His first shot of the night? An alley-oop dunk that got the Miami bench celebrating.

Everything else that happened in Game 5 give much cause for celebration.

Five of his remaining nine shots were short, another was a missed layup and he didn't take a single shot in the second and third quarters - the first time in his career that's happened.

Of course, it wasn't like he chose not to shoot: Fouls limited him to 4½ minutes in the middle two periods.

"It was frustrating last night, but I'm good now," James said Thursday after practice. "Yesterday is old news. Today is a new opportunity, and tomorrow is another opportunity to get better. So for me, I move on. That's why I'm able to stay who I am and be able to be better the next day."

By any measure, Game 5 will go down as a historically bad night for James.

-He played 24 minutes, the sixth-fewest of his 994-game career.

-He was whistled for five fouls faster than ever before in an NBA game.

-He shot 2 for 10, his worst performance from the field in more than six years.

-He had two rebounds, matching the second-worst showing in that category in his last 370 games.

-He scored seven points, tying for the fourth-fewest of his career, with the other entries on that list all coming during his first 15 months as a pro.

-He failed to reach double-digits in scoring for the first time since the 2011 NBA Finals, ending what was a 276-game stretch counting both the regular season and playoffs.

"You have to compartmentalize in a series, and it's all about the task at hand," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday. "Tomorrow, we can't even live in the past. That's why we came in today. And you can't think about the future. The only thing you think about is what we need to do to get tomorrow's game. No contest."

James showed little interest in discussing Game 5, either the game or the shenanigans within the game, most notably the moment when Stephenson - who has already talked about the Heat star's "weakness" when engaging with him during this series - blew into his left ear during a stoppage in play.

"I have a lot of respect for him," Stephenson said. "He's a great player. You've got to do whatever it takes to get under him and win the game because he's that good. So if I got to do all that stuff, I'm going to do that to win the game."

Stephenson was asked if he's worried he's giving James too much motivation. It's a fair point since there's some history there, such as James getting 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists in a playoff game two years ago that immediately followed Stephenson making a choking sign to him following a missed free throw. And in this series, after the "weakness" line, James came out and scored 32 points in a Heat win.

"He should be motivated anyway," Stephenson said. "There's a lot on the line. Like I said, we're all motivated, and we're all trying to get one thing. We're all trying to win. So he's definitely motivated. He's motivated, and I know he's going to come out even stronger in his building. He's got his fans behind him."

A win on Friday (or Sunday, if necessary) would put Miami into the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year.

And Heat guard Dwyane Wade thinks that's all the motivation James will need in Game 6.

"I'm very excited," Wade said. "It wasn't ideal for us to have him play 24 minutes, but I do know that guy, and I know how he responds. So I'm good with it now. Now I'm good with it because I know he's going to come out and put his mark on the game, whichever way that may be, and that gives us the best opportunity to win."

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