And not a moment too soon. On Thursday the Magic built a 17-point second-quarter lead on the Pacers, but "no one panicked at halftime," said Fleming later. While Miller made six of 11 second-half shots, Orlando went stone cold, bricking 15 of 20 fourth-quarter attempts. With 25.7 seconds left, the Pacers had silenced the raucous O-rena crowd and, trailing 88-86, called timeout.
"I knew when we put Byron in that it was either me or him," said Miller, who, when play resumed, drove to the top of the key and then dished to a wide-open Scott at the elbow of the three-point circle. Nothin' but net.
"In the past I might have looked to take that shot myself," said Miller, "but we're a different team this year."
On Saturday, O'Neal picked up two fouls before the game was three minutes old. He played but 36 minutes, went dunkless for only the fourth time this season and shot more than twice as many free throws (18, converting nine) as he did field goals.
O'Neal would score only one point in the final quarter. But Orlando rallied behind its long-range shooting—the Magic had a single-game playoff record 11 three-pointers—and crept to within two points in the final minute. With seven seconds remaining in the game and the 24-second clock winding down, Nick Anderson blocked a Workman jumper. Shaq scooped up the ball and tossed it up-court to Dennis Scott, who fed Hardaway for a breakaway, and game-tying, dunk. But no: The referees ruled that the shot clock had expired before Workman had shot. After a timeout, Hardaway drove the length of the court and tried to tic the game with an off-balance 12-footer that bounced high off the rim.
Now, back home in Indiana, May commenced with more than just the Indy 500 time trials. It was a new sensation: no more test drives in the NBA playoffs. "I'll tell you," says Miller, "our goal should be nothing short of the conference finals."
Well, then: Gentlemen, keep your engines running.