Pacer star's 3-pointer beats Hawks in OT, 98-97Posted: Friday February 14, 2003 10:27 PM
Updated: Saturday February 15, 2003 2:35 AM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- After 16 years in the NBA, Reggie Miller is still unmatched in coming off screens for big 3-point shots.
"The basketball court is a pretty big place, so a lot of times defenders don't know when a lot of screens are coming," he said. "I have the luxury of playing with some very talented big guys in Jermaine (O'Neal) and Brad (Miller) who set really good screens, and that's probably the biggest reason why I get so wide open."
Miller passed Adrian Dantley for 16th place on the NBA scoring list, and his final basket, with 10 seconds to go, pushed his career total to 23,184 points. He already has an NBA-record 2,296 3-pointers.
"When needed, they always call my number, and I'm just glad I still have the grace to come through when they need me," the 37-year-old Miller said.
"That's why you love him. He's been making those shots forever, way before I got here," said Brad Miller, who had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Pacers. "You think of Reggie Miller ... you think of big shots. He keeps delivering.
"We were just trying to get him a good pick and get him as open as he can get, when everybody in the arena and on that team knows who it's going to."
The Pacers blew a 20-point lead in the third quarter and fell behind 93-92 on a basket by Jason Terry with less than two minutes to go in the extra period. The Hawks had a chance to increase the lead after a foul by Reggie Miller, but Shareef Abdur-Raheem missed a shot and Indiana's Ron Artest got the rebound.
Miller's 3-pointer with 55 seconds left put the Pacers back on top 95-93, but a 3-pointer by Terry and free throw by Dion Glover with 16 seconds to go gave Atlanta its final lead at 97-95. Glover missed his second foul attempt, however, and O'Neal got the rebound for the Pacers.
After a timeout, Miller hit the go-ahead 3-pointer and O'Neal blocked a final shot by Terry just before the buzzer.
"We just have to keep fighting," Terry said. "We were definitely in a position to win the game, but they proved why they are the toughest team in the Eastern Conference. They're just resilient."
O'Neal finished with 16 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks. Abdur-Rahim and Glenn Robinson led Atlanta with 21 points each. Terry had 18 points and Theo Ratliff added 16 points, 14 rebounds and nine blocked shots.
"We do good things, but loose balls and rebounds bit us again. It's very frustrating," Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said.
"Our defensive effort in the second half was terrific. ... Reggie hits a huge shot to win the game. All I can say is that he is a hell of a player."
Miller scored 14 points during a four-minute, second-quarter flurry that seemed to put the Pacers in control after Atlanta's early nine-point lead.
The Hawks still led by three midway through the second period before a rebound tip by O'Neal and Miller's first basket started a 19-0 Indiana run. Miller had three straight 3-pointers during that streak, and Indiana opened a 52-36 lead before Robinson ended the spurt with a free throw on a technical foul against the Pacers.
The Pacers led 55-44 at halftime and scored the first nine points of the third quarter, including another 3-pointer by Miller, for a 64-44 lead. Abdur-Rahim, who had just five points in the first half, led the comeback as Atlanta pulled to 72-63 going into the fourth.
A basket by Robinson pulled Atlanta to 80-79 with four minutes left, then a 3-pointer by Terry put the Hawks ahead. There were two more lead changes before a basket by Abdur-Rahim with 40 seconds left tied the game at 87 and sent it to overtime.
Notes: Indiana is 2-0 against the Hawks this season. They will
play again Sunday in Atlanta. ... IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher was
color commentator on the Pacers radio network, subbing for ailing
regular Bob Leonard. Drivers A.J. Foyt IV and Tomas Scheckter
signed autographs in the lobby before the game. ... O'Neal's four
blocked shots made him the fifth Pacer with 500 career blocks.
Ratliff blocked seven shots in his last game at Toronto. ...
Robinson was Indiana high school Mr. Basketball in 1991, when his
Gary Roosevelt team beat Alan Henderson's Indianapolis Brebeuf team
in the state championship game. ... Atlanta is 1-18 when trailing
after three quarters. ... Robinson needs 11 points for 13,000 in