x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

NBA: LeBron James saves Miami Heat in last-gasp win over Indiana Pacers

MVP scores 30 points in 103-102 win in Game 1 of Eastern Conference finals.

LeBron James top-scored for the Miami Heat again. Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo
LeBron James top-scored for the Miami Heat again. Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

LeBron James scored the game-winning points in the dying embers of overtime as the Miami Heat held off a determined Indiana Pacers 103-102 in a thrilling NBA Eastern Conference Finals opener on Wednesday.

If broadcasters were concerned that another easy series win for Miami would further damage ratings for the play-offs, they got the perfect antidote with the Pacers pushing Miami all the way and raising the prospect of a tight best-of-seven set.

Indiana's Paul George, whose turnover looked to have given Miami the win in regulation, made amends in spectacular style by sinking a huge three-pointer with just 0.7 seconds left on the clock to force overtime.

Then, with Miami two points ahead and 2.2 seconds on the clock of the first extra period, George was fouled by Dwyane Wade as he attempted a three-point shot and kept his cool to sink all three free throws to put Indiana ahead by a point.

With Miami's last throw of the dice, Shane Battier passed to James, who drove the lane on his way to a comfortable lay-up that fell a fraction ahead of the buzzer and sent the Heat crowd into a frenzy.

James top-scored for Miami with 30 points on 12-of-24 shooting with 10 rebounds and 10 assists as he completed his ninth post-season triple-double, while George had 27 points for the Pacers with David West contributing 26.

Game 2 is in Miami on Friday while over in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs lead the Memphis Grizzlies 2-0 ahead of Game 3 on Saturday.

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