Indiana’s 7-foot-4-inch center Rik Smits had played the game of his life. It was Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals. Smits scored 34 points and held the New York Knicks legendary center Patrick Ewing to just 11.
But, Smits would foul out with just 1:40 to play in the game. Despite Smits efforts, the Knicks would hold a 105-99 lead with just 18.9 seconds remaining in the game. That’s when Reggie Miller took over.
Up to that point in the game, Miller was just 7-of-18 from the field and had scored 23 points. It would take just nine seconds – 8.9 to be exact – for Miller to end the game with 31 and, more importantly, a Pacers victory.
Miller would take an inbounds pass and quickly launch a 3-pointer that passed through the basket with 16.4 seconds remaining. On the ensuing inbounds by the Knicks, Anthony Mason gave Miller a gift with an errant pass.
Miller took the pass and moved outside of the 3-point arc where he drained another long ball. The Knicks six-point lead had just evaporated and there was only 13.2 seconds left in the game.
Indiana fouled on the next inbounds and sent John Starks to the free throw line. Starks, a career 77 percent free throw shooter, would miss both attempts. Ewing would grab an offensive rebound and miss a 10-foot jumper in the lane.
Miller grabbed the rebound and was fouled. With 7.5 seconds remaining, Miller went to the free throw line and calmly sank both giving Indiana a 107-105 lead.
Greg Anthony would take the inbounds pass and dribble the length of the floor. He made it to the short corner before stumbling as the clock ran out. Game 1 went to Indiana, 107-105.
The Pacers would go on to win the series in seven games.