LeBron James delivers winner as Miami Heat beat Pacers
Updated: 2013-05-23 15:08
Miami Heat's LeBron James (L) drives on Indiana Pacers' Lance Stephenson during Game 1 of their NBA Eastern Conference final basketball playoff in Miami, Florida May 22, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
LeBron James drove for a game-winning layup as time expired to give the Miami Heat a thrilling 103-102 overtime win over the Indiana Pacers in game one of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
James, recently named regular season Most Valuable Player for the fourth time, on Wednesday lived up to the billing with his buzzer-beating exploit, ensuring the reigning NBA champions retain home court advantage in the best-of-seven series.
James finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the ninth post-season triple-double of his career.
Paul George had given Indiana a 102-101 lead with three free throws with 2.2 seconds left in overtime.
But after a timeout, the Heat inbounded the ball and got it into their superstar's hands -- and James did not disappoint.
With George just out of position defensively, James whirled and attacked the basket, making the left-handed shot to seal the victory.
"It was a great game for us," James said. "Two teams fought hard, we just were able to make one more play than they made."
George had sent the game into overtime with a three-pointer at the end of regulation.
"It's just one game," James said. "We're excited about the win but we have to get better going into game two."
The Heat will host the Pacers in game two on Friday. The winner of the series will advance to the NBA finals, and take on the Western Conference champions for the league crown.
San Antonio leads the Memphis Grizzlies 2-0 in the Western finals.