Even at 38, Reggie Miller can still take over a game.
Miller looked like his younger self Saturday, tormenting the New York Knicks with a season-high 31 points and leading Indiana to a 95-94 win at Madison Square Garden.
“Reggie’s game was a masterpiece,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “Nights like tonight you really feel like you were in the presence of a living legend.”
Miller was 10-of-12 from the field and 6-of-7 from 3-point range. He scored 18 points in the first half, but he also hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help the Pacers recover from a dreadful third quarter.
Jermaine O’Neal, who had 14 points and six rebounds, put back a miss with three seconds remaining to seal the win for Indiana. He said he was happy to follow Miller’s lead for most of the night.
“We can’t burn him out early. I mean, he’s 40 years old,” O’Neal said. “Reggie asked me if I had one more in me—it just happened to be the one after the shot we planned.”
The Clippers opened a three-game road trip Tuesday with a 103-95 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Predrag Drobnjak had a season-high 20 points and a career-high 13 rebounds to lead Los Angeles, but the Clippers could not recover from a 22-point halftime deficit.
”(Drobnjak) was the spark that got us back into it,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. “He didn’t do real well in the first half—none of us did.”
The Clippers shot just 21 percent in the first half, allowing the Cavs to extend their lead to as many as 28 points.
“I just don’t think we were ready to play,” Clippers guard Quentin Richardson said. “We knew we could get back into the game, but we ran out of gas. You can’t afford to give anybody in the NBA those kinds of leads to start off like that.”
Los Angeles had won four straight before Tuesday.