Reggie Miller’s inspiring 3-pointer

  • Pacers
  • This three-point shot by Reggie Miller came in Game 4 of the Pacers’ second-round series with New York in 1998. It was another classic Garden moment for him, one that forced overtime and led to an 11-point Pacers victory that gave them a 3-1 lead in the series.

    It also came off an offensive rebound, as so many meaningful possessions do. Remember Byron Scott’s game-winning three-pointer in Game 1 of the 1994 playoffs at Orlando? That came off an offensive rebound. So did Travis Best’s game-winning three-pointer in the final game of the first-round series with Milwaukee in 2000.

    This one inspired the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, “Winning Time.” It was captured in a beautiful photo by Paul Sancya of The Indianapolis Star that was made into a poster sponsored by Marsh Supermarkets. Paul was at the other end of the court, sitting on the floor right in front of me around the corner from the Pacers bench. That wouldn’t normally be the best angle for a shot such as the one Miller hit but turned out to be the perfect place to capture the reaction of the Knicks fans in the background.

    They knew what was coming.

    Pacers general manager Donnie Walsh showed the photo to Dan Klores. Reminded of all the agony Miller had caused Knicks fans in the Garden, Klores was inspired to produce the documentary.

    The sequence began with a missed shot by Rik Smits in front of the basket. The rebound was tipped out uncontrolled. Chris Mullin managed to slap it out to Mark Jackson, who immediately heaved a pass to Miller for a wide-open shot with 5.1 seconds left to tie the game. Allan Houston missed a runner in the lane to force overtime, where the Pacers dominated.

    They wrapped up the series in the next game back at Market Square Arena, in which Jackson had a triple-double.

    Here are two looks at the play. Pardon the video quality, but they tell the story. The first shows the play from the start. The second is of better quality and includes the local radio broadcast:

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