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Heat 103, Pacers 102 (OT)

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- LeBron James made two layups in the final 10.8 seconds to lift the Miami Heat to a 103-102 overtime victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday.

James caught an inbounds pass at the top of the key with the Heat down 102-101 and bounded past would-be hero Paul George for an uncontested layup as time expired in overtime.

George hit a 3-pointer to force overtime and made three free throws with 2.2 seconds left in the extra session after being fouled by Dwyane Wade.

George scored 18 of his team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and overtime in a whistle-happy game marred by 58 personal fouls and 38 turnovers.

George caught the Heat switching on a screen and made a desperation 25-footer over James with 0.7 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.

James had his ninth career postseason triple-double with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. David West added 26 points for the Pacers.

With 42 seconds left in regulation, the Heat seemed to have Game 1 locked up when Dwyane Wade broke an 89-89 tie with a lefty layup over Roy HIbbert.

The Pacers' next possession ended with a turnover on a George pass into the Indiana bench with 20 seconds left.

Indiana fouled the normally reliable Ray Allen -- an 89.4 percent career foul shooter -- who gave the Pacers hope by only missing his first of two free throws.

George redeemed himself with the long 3 from the left wing with 0.7 seconds left. James ran at George, but did not leave his feet to contest the shot.

Allen then missed a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

The Heat turned up the intensity to start the second half with a 12-2 run but trailed 65-64 after three quarters. James had five points in the streak, victimizing George.

Midway through the third quarter, James jammed the middle finger on his right hand when he struck the backboard attempting to block a Hibbert putback.

James played through the injury, however, and the Pacers ended the quarter with their two key big men -- Hibbert and West -- saddled with four fouls apiece. Tyler Hansbrough scored eight points and four rebounds in the third quarter, giving Indiana a needed lift.

The Pacers led 42-37 at halftime, holding the Heat to their lowest first-half offensive output of the 2013 playoffs. The Heat had just two fast-break points, turned the ball over 13 times and were outrebounded 19-12.

Offensively, the key for the Pacers was 6-9, 240-pound David West, who was a load in the paint. He made 8 of 11 shots and had a game-high 18 points after two quarters.

Hibbert, Indiana's 7-2 center, wasn't quite as effective but solid with 11 points and four rebounds. Bigger than his numbers, though, was his ability to get Miami in foul trouble.

Between turnovers and fouls, whistles stopped play with regularity.

With 1:10 left in the first quarter, James was whistled for his second foul for throwing an elbow while driving to the hoop. It was only the third time all season that James was called for two fouls in the first quarter. The last time it happened was in December.

Notes: Heat starting point guard Mario Chalmers (bruised shoulder) left the game in the third quarter and did not return. ... The Heat shot 16-of-25 (64 percent) from the free throw line. ... Miami got a boost from forward Chris Andersen off the bench in the first half, when he was 3-of-3 shooting with two rebounds, two blocks and a steal in just over nine minutes. Andersen had 14 points and five rebounds and played a bigger role than normal as the Heat tried to match the Pacers' size. ... The recipe for Indiana winning the series: crashing the boards, pounding the ball inside and getting the Heat in foul trouble. The Pacers led the league in rebounding and outrebounding Miami 43-38. ... Entering the Eastern Conference finals, Indiana won at least one road game in four consecutive playoff series. ... Wade was wearing a bulkier brace than usual on his right knee, but he also seemed to have more spring in his vertical leap and lateral movement, including a go-ahead layup over Hibbert in the final minute of the game. ... Call it the Hibbert Effect. During practice Tuesday, James was seen working on his floater, a shot he rarely uses in games.
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