BOSTON, May 7 (Ticker) -- Reggie Miller
's backup at shooting guard
helped extend his career at least four more games.
scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter as
the Indiana Pacers routed the Boston Celtics, 97-70, in the
decisive seventh game of their Eastern Conference first-round
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scored 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting to lead the
sixth-seeded Pacers, who will face the defending champion and
second-seeded Detroit Pistons in the conference semifinals. Game
One is Monday in The Palace at Auburn Hills - the site of their
infamous November brawl.
The Pacers had been 1-3 in Game Sevens and never had won one on
the road. The Celtics, who had been 14-2 at home in Game
Sevens, lost their first one in Boston since falling to the
Philadelphia 76ers in the 1982 conference finals.
But Indiana had no problem playing at the FleetCenter in this
series, also winning Games Two and Five here. The Pacers became
just the sixth team in NBA history to win three road playoff
games in one series.
"It wasn't easy during the regular season to win three
(straight) games on the road but we have tough-minded people on
this team and we always feel like we can win," said Pacers guard
, who scored 13 points off the bench. "We've
been through every situation this year. We're confident at all
"It's strange and kind of mind-boggling," Celtics forward
added. "You work so hard to get home-court
advantage and get Games Five and Seven on your home floor. If
you had told me that we would have lost three games on our home
floor, I would have never believed it."
Jones, who had scored just five points in his last three games
and was bothered by a mildly sprained ankle, hit back-to-back
3-pointers to give Indiana a 70-52 lead with 9:27 remaining,
then pushed the advantage to 76-55 with a fast-break dunk with
7:33 to play.
"When I walked into the locker room today and saw (Miller), it
kind of took a little piece of your heart and kind of look out
for him," Jones said. "He is our leader, someone that we all
look up to. I am very happy that he gets to move onto the next
A future Hall of Famer who announced during the season that this
would be his last, Miller had missed a potential game-winning
3-pointer in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter of a 92-89
overtime setback in Game Six on Thursday. He scored just five
points in 28 minutes in this one, but he cheered on the
hot-shooting Jones in the fourth quarter.
"That's too much pressure for them," Miller said. "They need to
be thinking about other things. I've had a great career,
regardless of what would have happened tonight, and I've always
stated these guys have to win it for themselves."
Indiana held just a 35-32 edge at halftime but pushed its lead
to 64-50 after three quarters. Before the fourth, Boston coach
yelled to his team, "Every basket counts!" But the
Celtics never made a run in the fourth quarter.
Walker scored 20 points and Paul Pierce
added 19 for the
Celtics, who shot just 37 percent (27-of-73).
"To fight all year and to perform the way we performed tonight
was extremely disappointing," Rivers said. "I told our guys
that we played bad. We played poorly tonight. We didn't do a
lot of the things that we have done to get to this Game Seven
tonight. But this is not who we have been all year. It was
tough watching and looking at them after the game. It was just
For Jackson, it was a night of redemption after criticism for
his performance in Game Six, when he scored 14 points on 5-of-15
"We've dealt with drama all season long. After Game Six, there
was a little more controversy," Johnson said of the criticism of
Jackson. "We put it aside and played a great Game Seven.
Everyone stepped up."
Following the Boston win in Game Six at Conseco Fieldhouse,
Walker suggested Miller had played his last game before the home
"That's when it hit me in the head," Johnson said. "I was like,
'That's a true possibility.' But fortunately (Walker) was
wrong and he'll be watching Reggie play a few more games in
Boston's frustration came to a head late in the fourth with the
game out of hand. Bench players Kendrick Perkins
and Justin Reed
became the third and fourth Celtics ejected from a game in
, who added 15 points and seven rebounds in 36
minutes, will have just one day to rest his ailing right
shoulder before the Pacers open their series with the Pistons.
"All due respect to Reggie Miller, there was something said at
Conseco Fieldhouse the other night that I kind of took to heart,
and I think a lot of other guys took it to heart also, about
Conseco Fieldhouse being closed and that being Reggie Miller's
last game," O'Neal said. "What I can tell you guys is that
after Game Two (in Detroit), we're going back to Indiana, and
the FleetCenter is now closed."