Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson is a weird dude. There’s no other way around it, and he was at it again Wednesday night in Indiana.
The Pacers were able to hold on for a 93-90 win over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals and stave off elimination for at least one more game. Indiana’s Paul George was crazy good with 37 points in the winning effort, but Stephenson’s zany antics were a nice sideshow to George’s main event.
Stephenson has been asked to help guard LeBron James and was part of a team effort that limited James to a career playoff-low of seven points in just 24 minutes, as the Heat forward was in foul trouble, too.
Not only has Stephenson taken his game to another level, his trolling has been top-notch, too. That was evident at one point when cameras caught Stephenson blowing into James’ ear.
The Heat weren’t fans of that move from Stephenson. Heat guard Dwyane Wade called it “buffoonery,” but James tried his best to downplay the actions.
“We put ourselves in a position to win tonight, and as competitors, as professionals, that’s what we are,” James said, according to The Indianapolis Star. “We need one more game to get to the Finals. All the extra, whatever Lance wants to deal with, I don’t really care about that.”
Stephenson’s defense was a simple one.
“Just playing ball,” he said.
Stephenson’s act wasn’t limited to just blowing in James’ face, though. He also found his way into one of Miami’s huddles at one point. That one didn’t work out as well, as evidenced by Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra’s tremendous ability to stone-cold ignore Stephenson.