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On May 29, 1995, Rik Smits concludes the buzzer at the end of an anthology match against the Magic

There are ends of encounters where the stakes kill the game. The players are tense, in addition to being tired, and the shots become short. A single shot is enough to win the decision as clumsiness dominates.

And then there’s Game 4 of the 1995 Conference Finals between the Pacers and the Magic. On May 29, 1995, the two teams will offer fireworks in the dying seconds. Each will take the advantage before losing it. A real nightmare for heart patients.

There are 13.3 seconds left to play. Brian Shaw has just given Orlando a two-point lead after a winning shot (87-89). Time-out for Indiana. Larry Brown obviously plays on his best weapon in “money time”: Reggie Miller. The winger manages to get away, tries his luck behind the 3-point line, and scores!

Three successful 3-point shots, two of which were very difficult, then Rik Smits

The clock shows 5.2 seconds, the score 92-90 for the Pacers. It’s up to Magic to answer. Ball in hand, Penny Hardaway does not hesitate for long and goes up to 3-pointers, with a shot that is not at all easy. Again, it pierces the net: 92-93, advantage Orlando, 1.3 seconds to play.

The Pacers, led 2-1 in the series, will they have the resources to still rock the game? Unable to find Reggie Miller, the ball fails in the hands of Rik Smits at the throw line. The pivot fakes a first shot to eliminate his defender, then shoots. It’s inside, at the buzzer! Indiana win 94-93.

Unfortunately for Rik Smits and his teammates, this end of anthology match will not bring them luck since, as in 1994 against the Knicks, they will lose in Game 7, a hair’s breadth from the Finals.

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