Lance Stephenson blew on Wednesday night. Literally. He blew right into LeBron James’s ear during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Call it an unconventional defensive technique, maybe, because the Stephenson and his fellow Pacers ended up coming out on top of James and the Heat 93-90, to stay in the best-of-seven series.
James didn’t seem to think much of Stephenson’s concentrated exhale at the time (James grinned and laughed a bit), but something got into James head that night. The Heat forward uncharacteristically racked up five fouls by the third quarter and had to hit the bench. He only played for 24 minutes, scoring just seven points, a career low.
When asked about blowgate after in the postgame news conference, James kind of shrugged and said, “I’m just here to play basketball, man. All the extracurricular activities, I don’t really get into. I mean, I’m just trying to win.” When asked if he’d ever blow in someone’s ear as a defensive technique, James laughed and answered, “I blew in my wife’s ear before, that was definitely a defensive tactic.”
As for Stephenson, he played coy about his move in a post-game locker room interview, saying he “was just playing ball.” Uh-huh.
The Pacers will meet the Heat again in Miami for Game 6 on Friday.