Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Saturday, November 13th
Game 2: Saturday, February 26th
Game 3: Tuesday, April 5th
Game 4: Sunday, April 10th

Pacers 97

(39-34, 18-20 away)

Knicks 79

(29-44, 21-16 home)

Coverage: MSG

7:30 PM ET, April 5, 2005

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

1 2 3 4 T
IND 28 28 23 1897
NY 28 22 16 1379

Top Performers

Ind: S. Jackson 33 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

NY: K. Thomas 12 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

Jackson's 33 lead Indy to 4th win in a row

NEW YORK (AP) -- It was a sight Knicks fans probably never imagined: Reggie Miller crossing the court after a poor shooting night to embrace die-hard New York fan Spike Lee.

But, beneath all the feel-good sentiment, was a very familiar result for the Knicks -- a loss to Miller's Pacers.

Stephen Jackson celebrated his birthday by scoring 33 points and Indiana beat New York 97-79 Tuesday night despite a poor shooting night from Miller in his final appearance at Madison Square Garden.

Miller went just 3-for-15 from the floor and finished with 13 points. Still, the presence of one of the Knicks' great foes drew chants of "Reg-gie, Reg-gie" from the crowd as the game drew to a close. Before the game, some fans held up signs reading: "Reggie Thanks for the Memories," "Reggie Please Don't Retire" and "We Love Reggie."

"It's always been a love-hate relationship" Miller said. "I didn't know what kind of reception I was going to get here tonight. I appreciate all the kind words and all the signs. It means a lot."

Miller, who plans to retire after this season, has long tormented the Knicks and their fans -- most notably film director Lee -- with his clutch play in crucial games at the Garden.

"Ask any ballplayer, this is the one place where you want to succeed," Miller said.

As the clock wound down in the final two minutes, fans began to chant for Miller. When the game ended, Miller raised his hand to acknowledge the crowd, walked across the court and embraced Lee, who had watched the game from his usual courtside seat.

"A lot of things have been said between Spike and myself but out of anyone in this building that I have so much respect for it's Spike," Miller said. "I've always said there needs to be more Spike Lees in every building."

Said Indiana coach Rick Carlisle: "Spike drove Reggie to real heights of greatness. It was cool to get those guys together."

Stephon Marbury had 19 points to lead the Knicks, who have lost seven in a row and saw their slim playoff hopes get even more tenuous.

"We've got to stop the bleeding," guard Jamal Crawford said.

The Pacers, with their fourth win in a row, moved ahead of Cleveland into sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers lost 111-80 to New Jersey on Tuesday night.

Jackson, who turned 27, was 12-for-22 from the field, including 6-of-10 on 3-pointers.

"Stephen Jackson was a guy who got a hot hand and we rode him," Carlisle said. "His 3-point shooting really was an answer anytime the Knicks made a run."

Indiana led 56-50 at the break but Jackson scored 17 points in the third quarter, which ended with the Pacers up 79-66.

"It's a great birthday, a great way to end it," he said.

Anthony Johnson had 13 points for Indiana, and Dale Davis added 10.

Tim Thomas had 13 for New York, while Kurt Thomas had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Crawford added 10 points.

Miller was the first Pacer announced in the pregame introduction and was greeted with a loud mixture of boos and cheers.

After coming out for good earlier in the fourth quarter, several fans yelled "thank you" to Miller during a timeout with 2:33 left. He nodded his head and raised his hand in acknowledgment. After the game, he said he thought it was the last time he would be inside the Garden for any reason.

"He's been an evil enemy," Tim Thomas said. "But at the same time, you've got to love him. He just comes in and does his job. I'm pretty sure if he played here, the fans would love him."

New York fans are all too familiar with Miller's heroics for the Pacers. In the Eastern Conference finals in 1994, he scored 25 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter -- trading verbal barbs with Lee along the way -- to lead the Pacers to a 93-86 win and force a seventh game, which the Knicks won.

The following year, Miller scored eight points in 8.9 seconds in the final moments of a 107-105 win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at the Garden. Miller's outburst included two 3-pointers, a steal, a rebound and two free throws.

And it's why Miller knows not everyone in the Garden was rooting for him, even when the fans were chanting his name.

"There were a few (stinks) in there, too," he said.

Game notes

Indiana guards Fred Jones (lower back spasms) and Jamaal Tinsley (bruised left foot) did not dress. ... Knicks coach Herb Williams, a longtime player for New York, was asked before the game what remembrances he had of Miller's play against the Knicks. "No memories," he said with a smile. "I'm blank."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 97 79
FGM-FGA 30-69 (.435) 31-76 (.408)
3PM-3PA 13-25 (.520) 4-12 (.333)
FTM-FTA 24-28 (.857) 13-16 (.813)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-43 10-37
Assists 13 14
Turnovers 12 14
Steals 6 7
Blocks 1 1
Fast Break Points 10 2
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (1/0) 18 (0/0)
Largest Lead 20 6

Top Performers

New York
Stephen Jackson Jackson
Points: 33
Reb: 5
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Kurt Thomas Thomas
Points: 12
Reb: 12
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 1