INDIANAPOLIS, May 22 (Ticker) -- Jeff Foster did a handful of little things before Reggie Miller made another big shot.

Miller added another clip to his postseason highlight film, drilling a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 31 seconds left that gave the Indiana Pacers a 78-74 victory over the Detroit Pistons in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

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Postgame comments: Play

Reggie Miller had reason to celebrate after nailing a crucial shot.
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"It was his time," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said.

"We've all seen it," Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "He's the best I've ever seen."

Miller's clutch shot - his only basket of the game - was set up by a pick from Foster, a 6-11 center whose contributions down the stretch were not as obvious but just as important.

Foster spent most of the contest fighting a losing battle with Ben Wallace and was scoreless until getting loose for a driving layup that pulled the Pacers into a 74-74 tie with 1:23 to go.

"The series could hinge on the little things," Foster said. "Rick talked to us about that - rebounding, getting on the floor for loose balls. Stuff like that is what is going to win games."

"Foster was big for us, hitting the layup and then getting the offensive rebound on the next play," Miller said.

On Indiana's next possession, Jermaine O'Neal missed a jumper, but Foster leaped to tip it back to O'Neal. The Pacers reset their offense, and Foster set a hard screen on Richard Hamilton that freed Miller for a 3-pointer from the right wing.

"I told Jeff, 'Just put a body on Rip (Hamilton),'" Miller said. "I just need half a second of daylight."

"It seems the tighter it gets in the ballgame, the later it gets, the more he focuses in," Carlisle said.

Hamilton's 3-pointer rattled in and out, but the Pistons got a reprieve when O'Neal missed two free throws with 19 seconds left. Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace missed 3-pointers, and Miller sealed it with a free throw.

Miller and Foster combined to make just 2-of-11 shots and score eight points. But the top-seeded Pacers needed every one of them to improve to 6-0 at home in the playoffs.

O'Neal had 21 points and 14 rebounds and Ron Artest scored 17 points for Indiana, which hosts Game 2 on Monday.

"They will not win Game 2," Rasheed Wallace said. "You can quote me on the front page, on the back page, anywhere you want. They will not win Game 2."

For most of the game, Hamilton ran Miller ragged. He scored 23 points, most of them on jumpers after losing Miller in a maze of screens.

"It's like Mini-Me," Miller said. "I can tell that Rip has been watching a lot of tape. He knows my Jedi mind tricks as well - the grabbing, the holding, the stop-and-go and change of direction."

Ben Wallace had 11 points, 22 rebounds, five blocks and five assists. Billups scored 18 points but just one in the second half.

Two baskets by Hamilton and a dunk by Ben Wallace capped an 11-0 run that gave the Pistons a 64-61 lead early in the final period. A floater and 3-pointer by Jamaal Tinsley, who scored 13 points, and two free throws by O'Neal gave the Pacers a 72-68 advantage with 5:19 to go.

A 3-pointer by Tayshaun Prince gave Detroit a 74-72 edge with 1:40 to play.

The first half belonged to Pacers reserve Al Harrington. After Billups scored 11 points to push the Pistons to a 19-10 lead, Harrington came on and provided energy and offense, scoring 14 points to help Indiana rally for a 48-41 halftime bulge.

"It was great to get him going early," Foster said. "We seemed to be lax in the first half and he gave us a huge lift."

Late in the first half, Harrington took an elbow to the chest from Corliss Williamson and left for the locker room. He returned in the second half but did not score.