Miller provided one of basketball's best dramas during his prime years in the 1990s when he led the Indiana Pacers to the playoffs on several occasions. During the 1998 ECF, Reggie proved he was clutch once again, by delivering a cold-blooded game-winner against Chicago Bulls in game 4 of the ECF.
Miller had been quiet to this point, limited to 15 points, and hampered by an ankle injury suffered in the third quarter. After a slow start, Miller was able to catch fire and find a way to an explosive run where he carried Indiana to a victory over MJ and Chicago Bulls.
"He said he could go. He put everything on the line and stepped up and hit the big shots," said coach Larry Bird, who knows a little something about big shots himself. "But that's just Reggie."
With only one day off to rest his hurting ankle, speculation began as to whether or not Miller could even suit up. "I shouldn't have been out there," Miller admitted after Indiana's 96-94 Game 4 win. "[My ankle] loosened up a little as the game went on. I couldn't plant and I couldn't push off of it. I thought I was killing us. I was just a jump-shooter out there."
Indeed, Miller was held to just 15 points on the day, but luckily for the Pacers, he was out there for the final 2.9 seconds on Monday.
With Indiana trailing 94-93, Miller ran off a series of screens and fought off Michael Jordan before breaking free to catch the inbounds pass from Derrick McKey. With a lightning-quick release, he buried a three with seven-tenths of a second to play, electrifying Market Square Arena and sending Miller running down the court to jump in circles of joy.
"We wanted to get Jordan out of the play and he switched," said Miller. "Pippen wasn't playing me aggressively and Derrick made the pass. All I had to do was get my feet square."
"We designed the play for Reggie," Pacers coach Larry Bird said. "I didn't think he was going to as wide open as he was. He was wide open. I knew he was going to make it."
The Bulls had one last chance, but Jordan, who scored 28 points, saw his double-pump 25-foot banker rattle in and out as the horn sounded, completing an erratic final three minutes for the two-time defending NBA champions. "I'm part of the team and we all have to step forward," Jordan said. "I'm not going to point fingers. But we all have to move on. Things happened here today but you have to roll with the punches."
The Bulls would end up winning the series in game 7, but Reggie’s three-pointer in game 4 to tie the series at 2 games each, ended up pushing MJ’s championship Bulls to the only game 7 he faced during his second three-peat.