The Heat bench celebrates as LeBron James walks off the court following his game-winning shot. James had a triple double for the ninth time in his career in the playoffs.
The Miami Heat opened the Eastern Conference Finals with a dramatic overtime win, securing victory at the buzzer in overtime on a LeBron James layup.
With 2.2 seconds to go, James took an inbounds pass from Shane Battier and made a beeline for the rim to hit the final shot, making it a 103-102 win over the Indiana Pacers.
James notched his ninth career playoff triple double with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
"Two teams fought hard," James said. "We were able to make one more play."
Dwyane Wade scored 19 points, Chrish Bosh had 17 points, and Chris "Birdman" Andersen scored 16 points off the bench.
Seconds after Ray Allen missed one of two free throws that could have iced the game, Paul George forced overtime when he hit a 3-pointer from 32 feet with under a second to go in the fourth quarter.
He also appeared to give the Pacers a win in overtime when he drew a questionable foul call on Dwayne Wade while throwing up a desperation 3-pointer. He hit all three free throws to give the Pacers a one-point lead, but the reigning MVP made sure it would not last.
George scored 27 points, David West scored 26, and Roy Hibbert had 19 with 9 rebounds for Indiana.
Quizzically, Pacers coach Frank Vogel benched Hibbert on defense in the final two Heat possessions, likely fearing he would not be able to defend an outside shot from Chris Bosh. In both possessions, James drove to the hoop for go-ahead buckets.
"I would say we would probably have him in next time," Vogel said.
Early on it looked like the Pacers had lulled Miami into the kind of defensive slugfest that would normally favor Indiana. They led 42-37 at the half, forcing 13 Heat turnovers limiting James' and Bosh's minutes due to foul trouble.
Miami picked it up in the second half with a healthy dose of Andersen. Playing in a big lineup alongside Chris Bosh for stretches, he got multiple easy baskets at the rim by sneaking up on Hibbert on the weak side.
"Welcome to the Eastern Conference finals," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Back and forth the whole way."
The Heat were out-rebounded by Indiana 43-38, but Miami had 16 offensive rebounds, including one in the final minute of overtime when Bosh made a putback (only his second rebound of the game) and got fouled, tying the game on the ensuing free throw.
"We're excited about the win," James said. "But we have to get better going into Game 2.
The series continues with Game 2 on Friday night in Miami.