Moments earlier, however, Miller made all kinds of noise out on
Miller hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to force overtime, then
scored eight of his career-high 37 points in the extra session
Thursday night to rally the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 114-107 victory
over the San Antonio Spurs.
"He came up big down the stretch," Cavaliers forward Lamond
Murray said. "He's a marquee guy."
And still a quiet one.
"It was a decent night," said the modest, soft-spoken Miller.
"We needed to win this game."
Miller made sure the Cavs did. He made four free throws and hit
two short jumpers in the final 2:27 of overtime as the Cavs finally
pulled away and won for the seventh time in 10 games.
Miller, who played 50 minutes, drilled his 3 from the top of the
key as time expired in regulation, tying it at 101 and capping a
frenetic final five minutes when the Cavs made up a nine-point
deficit and the Spurs did little right.
"I was trying to pass it to someone else," Miller said. "I
didn't want to take the shot."
Murray added 22 points and Wesley Person 15 for the Cavs, who
trailed 95-86 with 5:31 left in regulation.
Duncan, too, was impressed with Miller.
"He was great, absolutely incredible," Duncan said. "He made
a lot of tough shots. It's one thing when we give up wide-open
jumpers. But it seemed like every time he turned and shot, we had
somebody in his face. He was just making shots."
Duncan could have given the Spurs a four-point lead with 11.2
seconds left in regulation, but Rose was called for a lane
violation on Duncan's free-throw attempt.
The Cavs then tried to work a play for either Murray or Person,
but it never opened up and somehow a loose ball made its way back
to Miller, who drained his jumper as the horn sounded.
"You could see it in his eyes," Cavs forward Tyrone Hill said
of Miller. "He wasn't going to let us lose this game."
Danny Ferry opened overtime with a 3-pointer for the Spurs, and
Duncan's two free throws gave San Antonio a 106-103 lead with 3:17
Then Miller took over.
He drew two shooting fouls and knocked down all four free throws
to put Cleveland up 107-106 with 1:58 left. After Person's steal,
Miller hit an off-balance shot to give Cleveland a 3-point cushion.
Charles Smith missed on the Spurs' next trip, and Miller hit a
leaner to make it 109-106 with 1:32 left.
San Antonio called time out, and as Miller walked to Cleveland's
bench, he was greeted by Cavs coach John Lucas, who patted his star
guard on the head.
"I was telling him out there 'That's what you got to do, it's
your deal'," Lucas said. '"If we live and die, we live and die
with you'. He was completely off the charts."
Duncan added 12 rebounds -- for his NBA-leading 46th
double-double -- and fed Robinson, whose dunk with 33 seconds left
put the Spurs up 98-96. It was about the only play the Spurs ran
well in the final 5:31, when they managed just one field goal.
Lucas finally got to use the starting lineup he envisioned
having this season before injuries forced Cleveland to make a rash
of changes. Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas made his third start, but
fouled out with 12 points in 26 minutes.
Cavs rookie center DeSagana Diop was placed on the injured list
with a strained right foot. Diop, who scored five points against
Seattle in his first start Tuesday night before getting hurt, has
had injuries to his knee, ankle and foot since being taken with the
eighth overall selection in the draft last year. ... The Cavs, who
went 7-5 in February, have used 15 starting lineups this season
compared to eight for the Spurs. ... Spurs guard Bruce Bowen was
activated before the game and scored eight points. He had been out
since Jan. 9 with a broken finger. ... Cavs rookie guard Jeff
Trepagnier pleaded innocent in court on disorderly conduct charges
Thursday and was ordered back March 26. He was arrested Sunday
for driving in reverse through an intersection.
Doc Rivers hinted that the Clippers wouldn't make a deal to acquire extra picks in Thursday night's draft. But deal they did.
Tim Legler thinks the trade sending Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to Domantas Sabonis to Oklahoma City is exactly what the Thunder needed to improve the team on both ends of the court.
Kris Dunn's journey to the NBA was not an easy one. He honors his mother after getting drafted by the Timberwolves.