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NBA -- LeBron saves Heat in Game 1 of East Finals


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- With 2.2 seconds left in overtime and his team down by a whisker, LeBron James kissed an uncontested lay-up off the glass as time expired, lifting the Miami Heat to a dramatic, 103-102, victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday night at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.

It was a scintillating finish to a tug-of-war that saw 18 deadlocks and 17 lead changes. After forcing overtime with a 32-foot 3 in the final .07 seconds in regulation, Pacers All-Star Paul George swished three free throws off a Dwayne Wade foul to give Indiana a 102-101 advantage, setting the stage for James' heroics.

"Two teams fought hard. We were able to make one more play," James told the Associated Press.

The reigning MVP finished with a triple-double -- 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists -- giving the Heat a 1-0 lead in this best-of-7 affair. Game 2 resumes at the American Airlines Arena Friday night.

Dwyane Wade battled through a bum knee with 19 points while Chris Bosh, the other pillar of Miami so-called Big Three, added 17. Chris "Birdman" Andersen was spectacular off the bench with 16 points and five rebounds. The Heat made only 5 of 18 threes (27.8 percent) and 41 of 86 field goals overall (47.7 percent).

Paul George had 27 points four rebounds and five assists for Indiana while David West pumped in 26. Roy Hibbert anchored the defense with 19 and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who shot 44.6 percent from the field and just 28.6 percent from 3-point range. (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: LeBron James high-fives teammate Dwyane Wade after the Miami Heat survived an overtime thriller in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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