It unfolded exactly the way the Miami Heat expected.

As the layups piled up, they realized the game plan was working to near perfection. If the Heat created enough spacing, it would lead to several easy baskets against the Indiana Pacers in Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

That was exactly the case in the Heat’s 103-102 overtime victory that gave them a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Heat scored 60 points in the paint, with many of them coming on uncontested layups.

“We exploited it,” reserve center Chris Andersen said. “That was our preparation going into the game: floor spacing.”

Andersen was the biggest beneficiary of coach Erik Spoelstra’s plan concocted in the video room. He scored a playoff-high 16 points on 7 of 7 shooting from the field. All his baskets came on dunks or layups.

The Pacers were the league’s top defensive team but film studies showed they had a tendency to overplay in the paint.

That left several opportunities for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to set up teammates, once the defense collasped, for easy points. They combined for 15 assists on plays that were all similar.

James or Wade drove the paint only to feed the ball to an open Andersen. Most times, it resulted in a basket that satisfied the growing fan base of the "Birdman."

“The fact that (James) is passing the ball at the rim is just challenging,” Pacers forward David West said. “They made the right plays. They were dumping it off and made adjustments at the half.”

The plan was nothing new for the Heat. They used most of the week off between series to fine-tune the strategy they employed each game against the Pacers during the regular season.

Only this time, the execution was nearly flawless.

“Watch the last series,” center Chris Bosh said. “It’s the same thing. I expect things to be like that. We do it for a reason. We put them in tough positions. If they don’t help (on defense), then (Wade and James) will have a layup. If we’re aggressive, we’ll get a layup, a dunk or an open 3-pointer.”

The opportunities are possible because the Pacers rely heavily on center Roy Hibbert playing help defense at the rim. Once he slid over Wednesday, players like Andersen and Udonis Haslem became ideal targets in the paint.

Although Haslem (1 of 6) wasn’t as successful, Andersen finished as the Heat’s fourth-leading scorer.

“It’s going to be there,” forward Shane Battier said. “Because Hibbert is really active and protective of the paint and he does a great job it. But there are opportunities there. It’s going to be a big part of the series. You have to make them pay for patrolling the paint.”

For Andersen, it continued to show why he was such an important acquisition in mid-January. He has almost doubled his scoring in the postseason, averaging 7.9 points while shooting nearly 83 percent from the field (29 of 35).

“I think he was a pleasant surprise,” Wade said. “Obviously we knew what he brought in Denver but we didn’t know how he would fit with our team.”