MIAMI — LeBron James made a layup as time expired in overtime, and the Miami Heat found a way to beat the Indiana Pacers 103-102 in a wild Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.
James finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Heat — his ninth postseason triple-double, and barely anyone noticed. All that mattered was the last shot, which simply saved the Heat.
Paul George made three free throws with 2.2 seconds left in the overtime, which he forced with a miracle 3-pointer, to give the Pacers the lead. But James — with Indiana shot-blocking center Roy Hibbert curiously on the bench — just drove down the left side of the lane, scored with ease and the Heat escaped.
Officials reviewed James’ play at the end, though it was clear he beat the clock.
George was fouled by Dwyane Wade on the play where the Pacers had to think they had stolen the series opener.
George saved the Pacers in regulation with a 32-footer with 0.7 seconds left in regulation that tied the game, and tried a shot from a similar distance as time was expiring in the extra session. Referee Jason Phillips said Wade hit George, and the Pacers’ star made all three free throws for the 16th lead change of the night.