Sunday, May 23, 2004

Miller's only shot is big one for Indiana

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - Reggie Miller's only basket of the game came when the Indiana Pacers needed it most.

After missing his first six shots, Miller drilled a 3-pointer with 31.7 seconds left to break the game's final tie and lead Indiana past Detroit 78-74 Saturday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

With the score tied at 74, Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal missed a difficult turnaround jumper from the left baseline. Jeff Foster tipped the rebound to a teammate, and the Pacers had another chance.

Miller popped free off a screen set by Foster, took a pass from Jamaal Tinsley and buried his 3 to make it 77-74.

"All I need is to have a half-second of daylight," Miller said.

Hamilton missed a 3-pointer for Detroit, and O'Neal was fouled on the rebound with 19.8 seconds left. He missed both foul shots to give the Pistons another chance, but Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace missed 3-point attempts, and Miller made the second of two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to seal Indiana's 14th consecutive home victory.

Game 2 is Monday night at Indianapolis.

Miller helped the Pacers overcome a fourth quarter in which they were held scoreless for a stretch of nearly four minutes.

O'Neal led Indiana with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Ron Artest scored 17 points, Al Harrington had 14 and Tinsley 13 for the Pacers.

Hamilton scored 23 points, and Ben Wallace added 11 points and 22 rebounds for the Pistons, who got little (four points, five fouls, three turnovers) from Rasheed Wallace.

Indiana won despite being held to 13 points in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth.

DETROIT (74)-Prince 4-7 0-0 9, R.Wallace 1-7 2-2 4, B.Wallace 5-11 1-2 11, R.Hamilton 10-20 3-3 23, Billups 6-13 5-6 18, Williamson 2-8 1-2 5, Campbell 1-4 0-0 2, James 0-1 0-0 0, Okur 1-2 0-0 2, Ham 0-0 0-0 0, Hunter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-73 12-15 74.

INDIANA (78)-Artest 6-23 4-5 17, O'Neal 7-20 7-9 21, Foster 1-4 0-0 2, Miller 1-7 3-4 6, Tinsley 5-12 2-2 13, Bender 2-3 0-0 5, Harrington 6-12 2-3 14, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Croshere 0-1 0-0 0, F.Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-83 18-23 78.

3-Pointers-Detroit 2-12 (Prince 1-2, Billups 1-5, R.Hamilton 0-2, R.Wallace 0-3), Indiana 4-15 (Bender 1-1, Miller 1-3, Artest 1-5, Tinsley 1-5, Croshere 0-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Detroit 53 (B.Wallace 22), Indiana 53 (O'Neal 14). Assists-Detroit 21 (B.Wallace 5), Indiana 14 (Tinsley 5). Total fouls-Detroit 21, Indiana 19. A-18,345 (18,345).

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