With the Indiana Pacers down six points with 18.7 seconds remaining in Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals, the Indiana Pacers needed a miracle, and Reggie Miller delivered, pulling off a comeback like no other against the New York Knicks.
Rik Smits, the Pacers center, had played the game of his life before fouling out with 1:40 remaining in the game as Indiana’s victory seemed to be improbable. He had scored a playoff career-high 34 points and held Patrick Ewing, the Knicks’ All-Star center, to 11. He had kept the Pacers in the game, and he had set the stage for a stunning comeback.
It was Miller time. Miller made two three-pointers in the span of 3.1 seconds, as the second trey came after he intercepted an inbounds pass to tie the score at 105-105. After the Knicks’ John Starks missed two free throws, Miller won the game by hitting two foul shots with 7.5 seconds remaining.
And he did it all while trash-talking at Knicks courtside celebrity and biggest fan — Spike Lee, and gloating in the faces of the stunned New York players.
Meanwhile, Miller, who ended up with 31 points, had done most of his brick-tossing before crunch time. He struggled from the outside for most of the game, during which he went 7 for 18, but he had the confidence to finish the game for his team.
In the postgame frenzy, the celebratory Pacers headed to the locker room, as Reggie, in his euphoria, screamed as he headed to the locker room,
“THEY CHOKED, THEY CHOKED!”
It was a true show of a big rivalry between the Pacers and Knicks in the ’90s.