AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 11 (Ticker) -- Reggie Miller
's habit of
coming through in the clutch rubbed off on Jeff Foster
Miller had a big second half and Foster played possessed down
the stretch as the Indiana Pacers again displayed their
resiliency in a 92-83 victory over the Detroit Pistons that
evened the Eastern Conference semifinals at a game apiece.
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After being thoroughly dominated in Game One, the Pacers fell
behind by 15 points after the first quarter and trailed, 50-40,
at the half in this one. However, the hardened Pacers again
fought back as they have been doing all season.
"These guys have been tough all year," Indiana coach
said. "They don't get down when they get knocked down.
They get up and keep fighting."
The Pacers' resilience impressed Detroit coach Larry Brown
"I admire the heck out of the season they've had," Brown said.
"We completely dominated Game One, and other than the first
quarter, they dominated Game Two. You've got to give them a lot
of credit. They did all of the effort things that we did in
Miller, one of best postseason performers in NBA history, scored
15 of his 19 points in the second half as the Pacers rallied
against the defending champions while silencing The Palace of
Auburn Hills, the site of the November 19 game where they
brawled with fans.
"I thought Reggie had a very disciplined game," Carlisle said.
"Early, we tried posting him a little bit and he had a couple of
shots that didn't go down, but he just kept playing his game.
"Even when he's not scoring, his presence on the floor changes
the geometry of the game. In the second half, he was able to
get some open looks in transition and some pick-and-roll action
that didn't necessarily involve him. We have to be able to get
guys shots off of team activity. Our basketball IQ is going to
have to be very good in order for us to continue to have
Miller said that he has changed his approach to the playoffs
since his first postseason appearance with the Pacers, in 1990.
"When I was younger, I threw everything into Game One of a
series," Miller said. "In later years, I've been taking the
Tiger Woods approach. You don't win anything in the first game
of a series, just like he doesn't win the tournament on the
"But on the second day is when Tiger shows up. On the first day
of the tournament, Tiger sizes up the course and the
competition. In the first game of a series, I check out the
defense they're playing against me, and what a guy like Rip
(Hamilton) is doing on offense."
While Miller was huge, the 6-11 Foster came up even bigger with
the game on the line.
"He's the unsung hero tonight," Miller said. "He's paid to do
the little dirty things that help you win basketball games, and
he was his nastiest and dirtiest tonight. Ten offensive
rebounds is almost unheard of in a playoff game."
Foster's follow shot with 5:26 remaining gave the Pacers a 79-77
lead and started an 11-0 run. Miller followed with a
3-pointer, Jermaine O'Neal
made a turnaround and Foster had
consecutive baskets inside, the second off an airball by Jamaal
Tinsley that gave the Pacers an 88-77 lead with 2:40 left.
Foster, who finished with 14 points and a career-high 20
rebounds, downplayed his performance.
"Guys were missing shots and I was fortunate enough to be in the
right place at the right time," he said. "A lot of guys really
stepped up for us tonight, and it was a huge win.
"I had 20 (points) and 16 (rebounds) last year in the playoffs.
It's all just a matter of my teammates getting me involved and
just being in the right place at the right time."
After Tayshaun Prince
split a pair of free throws for the
Pistons, Foster added a block and dunk to to make it 90-78 with
63 seconds remaining. Foster had eight points and six rebounds
in the fourth quarter.
Foster collected half of his rebounds on the offensive glass,
helping the Pacers to a 38-20 edge in points in the paint.
O'Neal added 22 points and Tinsley 12, 12 assists and seven
rebounds for the sixth-seeded Pacers, who have yet to lose
back-to-back games in the postseason. Indiana improved to 4-2 on
the road in the playoffs.
"The sad part is that we're going home, and we don't play well
at home," Miller said. "We have to find a way to win at home."
Prince scored 24 points and Ben Wallace
had 16 rebounds for the
Pistons, who were held to just one basket in the final 5:53 of
Games 3 and 4 are in Indiana on Friday and Sunday.
Using their defense to fuel their offense, the Pacers opened the
third quarter with a 14-5 surge, pulling within 55-54 on two
free throws by O'Neal with 6:01 left.
Miller's 3-pointer with 4:09 left gave the Pacers their first
lead at 62-60. They extended the lead to 68-63 before the
Pistons scored the final six points of the quarter.
Miller scored just six points in the series opener and made
2-of-5 shots in the first half of this one. He was more
aggressive after intermission and finished 8-of-17 from the
The Pistons shot 50 percent (20-of-40) in building the
first-half lead. But they shot just 32 percent (12-of-37) after
intermission to finish at 42 percent (32-of-77) overall.
"We stopped playing at halftime," Wallace said. "We played like
a bunch of strangers after the half."
Prince scored just eight points in the series opener but had 11
in under eight minutes as the Pistons raced to a 24-11 lead.
The Pistons shot 63 percent (12-of-19) and made all four of
their attempts from the arc to open a 33-18 lead after the first
"We tried to get me the ball early, not just because Reggie was
guarding me, but because of how I played in Game One," Prince
said. "The Pacers do a great job of helping on the weak side,
and we just tried to find the open man. In the first half we
made shots, but once we got a comfortable lead we just tried to
A layup by Dale Davis
pulled the Pacers within 38-31 with 6:45
left in the half. But Antonio McDyess
and Rasheed Wallace
jumper before Ronald Dupree
threw down a dunk as the Pistons
rebuilt the lead to double digits.
Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton
each scored 14 points and
had 13 and 10 assists for the Pistons, who lost
for the first time in five games at home in the postseason.
added 13 points for Indiana, which shot 39
percent (37-of-95) and held a 52-43 rebounding advantage.