NBA Playoffs: Heat Take 1-0 Lead on Lebron James’ Game-Winner


May 22, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) scores the game winning basket as Indiana Pacers power forward Tyler Hansbrough (far right) looks on during an overtime win in game one of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Miami won 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat 103 Indiana Pacers 102

 How Miami Won: Lebron James.  With the Heat down by one with 2 seconds remaining, James caught the inbounds pass near the top of the key, got around Paul George, and made a driving lay-up as time expired.  James recorded his ninth career triple-double, finishing with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.

 Dwayne Wade scored 19 points and 6 rebounds, Chris Bosh added 17 points.  Chris Andersen sparked energy off the bench, going 7 for 7 from the field and scoring 16 points.

Miami was contained from the three-point line, shooting just 5 for 18(28 percent) for the game, but they had the edge in points in the paint, 60-48.

But James led the way as the Heat stepped up their play when the fourth quarter started.  Miami shot a remarkable 13 for 18(72 percent) from the field in the final stanza and overtime period.

 How Indiana Lost: After 52 minutes and 58 seconds of play, it looked like the Pacers were on their way to stealing game 1.  Paul George hit a 32-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, and then hit three free throws with 2 seconds left in the extra period to give Indiana a 102-101 lead.  That would set up James’ driving lay-up.

The Pacers proved that they belonged in the same class as the Heat, trading blows with the powerhouse team every step of the way.  George struggled early, but found his rhythm as he finished with 27 points to lead the way.  David West added 26 points and 5 rebounds, while Roy Hibbert scored 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.

Indiana head coach Frank Vogel will have a lot of questions to answer to in the coming days as he decided to not put Hibbert in the game on the final play.  Without the 7’2 center, James made the game-winning lay-up look easy.  Vogel has stated that his decision of leaving Hibbert off the floor was out of concern of Miami would do with Chris Bosh in that scenario.  Afterward, he did say that he might have a different thinking next time.

The Pacers also had trouble with their point guard play, as George Hill, coming off a concussion injury, struggled.  He finished with 5 points and 7 assists on 2 of 9 shooting.  D.J. Augustin played solid off the bench, scoring 8 points and no turnovers in 15 minutes.

 It Was Over When: With the Pacers down by 2 with just seconds left in overtime, Wade fouled George as he went up for a three-point attempt.  George hit the three free throws, which set up the final play and the rest is history.

 Quote Of The Night: “I would say we would probably have him in next time.” –Frank Vogel on his decision of not having Roy Hibbert on the floor on the final play. 

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