Can the Indiana Pacers ask for anything more than Reggie Miller in three-point shooting position with the game on the line? Not unless it’s Miller at the foul line.
It was Miller time again for the Pacers on Monday night, and the sharp-shooting guard made three free throws in the last one-tenth of a second to help Indiana come back from a 19-point deficit to beat the Toronto Raptors, 105-103, at Indianapolis.
Miller, who finished with 25 points, took a last-second, off-balance three-point shot with his team down, 103-102.
When Doug Christie was whistled for the foul with less than a second to play, Toronto Coach Darrell Walker argued vehemently, grabbed the ball from referee Monty McCutchen and spiked it on the court. He was charged with a technical foul and ejected.
“I thought [Christie] had a clean block. But the call was made,” Walker said. “I thought Doug made a clean play. As far as I’m concerned, we won the game.”
Miller made the technical free throw to tie the score, then sank two of three foul shots from the Christie foul to lift Indiana to victory.
Miller, however, didn’t completely disagree with Walker.
“He got part hand. But you could make a case for it,” he said. “But [the referees] called it so it must have been a foul.”
Charlotte 124, Orlando 110--Glen Rice scored 40 points to lead the Hornets past the Magic and embattled Coach Brian Hill at Charlotte, N.C.
Anthony Mason finished with a season-high 28 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as Charlotte registered its highest point total of the season and broke a seven-game losing streak against the Magic. Mason was 11 for 11 from the field.
Orlando, which lost its fifth consecutive game, was playing a day after a broadcast report that Hill’s relationship with his players has deteriorated to the point that he may be fired. Magic General Manager John Gabriel attended the game and denied again that Hill’s dismissal was imminent.
Nick Anderson led the Magic with 28 points.
Houston 127, Atlanta 98--Charles Barkley scored 21 points and Hakeem Olajuwon led an early second-half charge as the Rockets rolled at Houston.
The Rockets took a 63-47 halftime lead and blew it open in the third quarter, starting with a three-point shot by Matt Maloney and three consecutive jump shots by Olajuwon.
Olajuwon (16 points) had six points at the half but he helped the Rockets take a 78-56 lead with 6:49 to go in the third quarter. Houston led, 98-72, to start the fourth quarter and both coaches emptied their benches with 7:25 to go.
Steve Smith led the Hawks with 28 points.
Seattle 113, Boston 108--Gary Payton scored 26 points and Detlef Schrempf added 24 to lead the SuperSonics to their fourth consecutive victory after the All-Star break.
Shawn Kemp, returning from a one-game suspension for fighting, added 22 points.
The Celtics lost their seventh in a row and saw their road record drop to 2-23, worst in the league.
Antoine Walker had 27 points for Boston before fouling out with 14 seconds left.
Washington 95, Milwaukee 93--Juwan Howard had 20 points and nine rebounds as the Bullets escaped with a victory over the Bucks after blowing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead at Landover, Md.
The Bullets, however, still needed Milwaukee rookie guard Ray Allen to miss a 14-foot baseline jump shot as time expired.
Armon Gilliam had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee.
Cleveland 108, New Jersey 101--Terrell Brandon scored 22 points and Tyrone Hill added 17 and a season-high 19 rebounds at Cleveland as the Cavaliers won their third in a row.
Kendall Gill and rookie Kerry Kittles scored 30 points apiece for New Jersey.