LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Miami Heat defeated the Toronto Raptors 102-96 in overtime on Tuesday to claim a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final playoff series.
A stunning buzzer-beating three-pointer from near halfway by Toronto star Kyle Lowry had given the Raptors a lifeline at 90-90 to force overtime.
But in overtime, Miami raised their game to break the Raptors' resistance, quickly rattling off eight unanswered points to silence the crowd and take a 98-90 lead.
Toronto were given a glimmer of hope trailing at 96-99 but DeMar DeRozan was unable to get a shot off and Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade snaffled to score a two-pointer and put the game out of reach.
Game 2 takes place on Thursday.