Boston wins series 4-2 (Game 2 of 6)

Boston wins series 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th
Game 2: Monday, April 21st
Game 3: Thursday, April 24th
Game 4: Sunday, April 27th
Game 5: Tuesday, April 29th
Game 6: Thursday, May 1st

Celtics 77

(44-38, 19-22 away)

Pacers 89

(48-34, 32-9 home)

    7:30 PM ET, April 21, 2003

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 24 24 17 1277
    IND 33 21 16 1989

    Top Performers

    Bos: A. Walker 19 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Ind: J. O'Neal 23 Pts, 20 Reb, 1 Blk

    Miller's clutch 3-pointer sparks Pacers in Game 2

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- No one gets the Pacers going the way Reggie Miller does. And nobody gets Miller going the way the Indiana fans do.

    Reggie Miller

    After sitting on the bench for all but two minutes of the fourth quarter in the series opener, Miller showed Monday night why the tight moments are when he's needed most.

    With the crowd chanting "Reg-gie! Reg-gie!'', Miller drilled a 3-pointer, allowing the Pacers to hold on and beat Boston 89-77, evening the Eastern Conference playoff series 1-1.

    "They were chanting and chanting. If it wasn't for them, I may have never gotten a shot,'' Miller said. "They helped push that ball in.

    "It's not how many you take, but how many you make.''

    Miller made the clinching shot of Game 2.

    "Reggie always understands the rhythm and momentum of the game,'' said coach Isiah Thomas. "He really provided the shot in the arm we needed.''

    Jermaine O'Neal scored 23 points and tied the Pacers' NBA playoff record with 20 rebounds. Miller had 18 points and Jamaal Tinsley 15 for the Pacers.

    Antoine Walker led the Celtics with 19 points, Walter McCarty had 16 and Paul Pierce, who scored 40 in the opener, finished with 14.

    "We fell short and I think we just had tired legs at the end,'' Pierce said.

    Game 3 is Thursday night in Boston.

    Boston has rallied from large double-digits deficits in both games of the series. The Celtics trailed by 16 in the third period and by 13 with 7½ minutes left in the opener. They were down Monday by 18 late in the first quarter.

    Twice in the third quarter, Boston pulled within one. The Celtics, though, never took the lead. This time, the Pacers were able to slow down Pierce and Walker. The All-Star duo went 12-for-19 from the floor, slowed by Ron Artest and some zone defense.

    "We did our job by getting one game,'' Pierce said. "We've just go to take care of business at home.''

    Both players were hit with technical fouls. Pierce was whistled in the third quarter for pushing Artest, and Walker got in some late-game trash talking with O'Neal.

    "We knocked them down, we're not going to pick them up. They knock us down, I hope they don't try and pick us up, because then it shows a sign of weakness,'' Pierce said.

    The Celtics were down by five early in the fourth quarter. But Indiana was up by nine when Tinsley's 3-pointer made it 81-69. After struggling with his jumper for most of the season, Tinsley has found his stroke. He made three of his five 3s in Game 1 and finished Game 2 4-for-5.

    "He's still not a good 3-point shooter,'' Miller cracked.

    The Celtics would get the gap under 10 one last time. That's when the Pacers turned to Miller.

    He missed nine of his first 12 shots, but the crowd got behind him and began chanting his name. So Miller took a pass just to the left of the top of the arc and hit the 3-pointer. The crowd erupted, the Pacers led 86-74 and they never looked back.

    Miller pumped his right fist and mouthed 'Thank you' to the fans.

    If the fourth-quarter failure in Game 1 was much like their post-All-Star break meltdown, then in the first quarter the Pacers played like they did when they started 37-15.

    O'Neal started strong, scoring 12 points in the first quarter and had 17 at the half.

    "Without Jermaine, we go nowhere,'' Thomas said. "He's the guy who's carried us all season.''

    They went on a 20-4 run, sharing the basketball with crisp passes and a couple of alley-oops. After Artest's 3-pointer gave the Pacers a 25-8 lead, the crowd went wild and Miller waved his arms in encouragement as Boston called timeout.

    Miller's free throw on a technical foul gave Indiana a 26-8 lead, its largest of the game, with 3:11 left in the first quarter.

    The Pacers shot 64 percent in the half and had 12 assists on 14 field goals, but couldn't contain Boston's outside game in the final minutes.

    Two 3-pointers by Walter McCarty and one by Walker allowed Boston to slice the deficit to 33-24 at the end of the quarter.

    Game notes

    Miller played in his 111th career playoff game, the most ever by a Pacer. .. Thomas was booed during pregame introductions. ... The Pacers have never won a playoff series in any round after losing the opener (0-12). ... Boston is 4-0 at home against Indiana the last two years. ... After making 21 of 21 free throw attempts in Game 1, Pierce missed his second attempt and finished 3-for-5. ... The Pacers had all five starters score in double figures five times this season. It's happened twice in the playoffs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 77 89
    FGM-FGA 28-78 (.359) 31-73 (.425)
    3PM-3PA 7-26 (.269) 6-21 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 14-18 (.778) 21-25 (.840)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-42 8-48
    Assists 16 25
    Turnovers 11 13
    Steals 9 6
    Blocks 2 5
    Fast Break Points 4 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (3/0) 18 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Antoine Walker Walker
    Points: 19
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 23
    Reb: 20
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1