LeBron James caught the inbounds pass, changed direction and immediately attacked the rim.
There was no one in his way.
There was no stopping him, either.
James made a layup as time expired in overtime, capping a 30-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist effort as the host Miami Heat found a way to outlast the Indiana Pacers 103-102 in a wildly back-and-forth Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night. There were 18 ties and 17 lead changes, the last two of those coming in the final 2.2 seconds.
"Two teams fought hard," James said. "We were able to make one more play."
Paul George saved the Pacers at the end of regulation with a 32-footer with 0.7 seconds left after Ray Allen missed 1 of 2 free throws for Miami.
In overtime, George made three free throws with 2.2 ticks left to give Indiana a one-point lead.
"It just felt like everything was in our favor," George said.
But the Pacers left James too much time, and left their best shot-blocking option on the bench. Roy Hibbert wasn't on the floor for the final play, and without a 7-foot-2 barrier to contest him, James made the winner look easy.
"Two great teams just throwing punch for punch," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "Our spirit is very high, very confident. We know we can play with this basketball team."
Vogel said he left Hibbert off the floor for the final play out of concern of what defending champion Miami would do with Chris Bosh in that scenario. Afterward, he acknowledged he might have different thinking next time.
"I would say we would probably have him in next time," Vogel said.
"Welcome to the Eastern Conference finals," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Back and forth the whole way."
Wade scored 19 points, Bosh had 17 and Chris Andersen had 16 on 7-for-7 shooting for Miami.
George scored 27 for the Pacers, who got 26 from David West and 19 from Hibbert.
James scored on a drive with 10.8 seconds left in overtime, and George answered with the three free throws. Indiana had one plan for James on the last play.
"We wanted LeBron to shoot a jumper right there," George said.
He was just better.
"We're excited about the win," James said. "But we have to get better going into Game 2."
Spurs: Point guard Tony Parker plans to have an MRI on his troublesome left calf, although he doesn't expect to miss any playing time in the Western Conference finals.
Parker says the MRI is "just to make sure" he's improving on schedule from the injury. Parker had 15 points and 18 assists in the Spurs' Game 2 win against Memphis.
Game 3 is Saturday night in Memphis.