Taking a look at the Pacers' recent performances in Game 7s

With the Indiana Pacers playing a do-or-die Game 7 on Sunday, now is a good time to look at their recent history in Game 7s.
Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Seven
Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Seven / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

This is it. This is where legends are made. For the first time in six years, the Indiana Pacers have found themselves in a win-or-go-home Game 7, this one being on the road against the New York Knicks. We have said it before but this is easily the most important game in a decade for the Pacers. A win here can catapult them to the Eastern Conference Finals and finally eliminate their longtime rival New York Knicks with their first win in New York in the playoffs.

With a pivotal Game 6 coming up on Friday, now is a good time to check up on the history of Game 7s that the Indiana Pacers have participated in and how their past success is either a sign for what's to come or a deviation from the future.

Unlike their record in Game 6s, which now stands at a favorable 15-11, the Pacers have not had much luck in the follow-up games. In nine Game 7s in franchise history, the Pacers hold an unfavorable 3-6 record, with all these games coming in the last 30 years.

Crucially, the first two Pacers' Game 7s were against the New York Knicks in 1994 and 1995. The first Pacers Game 7 was played in the Eastern Conference Finals where New York advanced to the NBA finals off 24 points and 22 rebounds from Patrick Ewing.

This was also the series where Reggie Miller gave Spike Lee the infamous 'choke' gesture in Game 5. Unfortunately, the Pacers would be the chokers this year, as they blew a 3-2 series lead and lost in Game 7 to get sent home.

Indiana got their revenge the following year. Against the same Knicks team, this time in the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals, just like this year, Indiana won 97-95 behind 29 points from Reggie Miller and a blown last-second layup by Patrick Ewing to potentially send the game to overtime. Out of all the historic moments against the Knicks, this may be the one Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers should look to replicate.

Going to more recent times, Indiana holds an unfavorable 2-1 record in Game 7s in the last 10 years, with both of them being close losses in the first round, one against the Toronto Raptors in 2018 and the other being the infamous loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018.

As for their record at home as opposed to on the road, the Pacers have played all but one of their Game 7s on the road, with the one home game being against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2014 First Round which ended in a 92-80 win for the Pacers.

This year, however, is different. No more Reggie Miller, no more Paul George, no more Rik Smits, no more Jermaine O'Neal. The Indiana Pacers have to rely on Tyrese Haliburton, Pascal Siakam, and Myles Turner, along with the rest of the team to control their own destiny.


Indiana got this far, and an Eastern Conference Finals berth will etch this season in with some of the best in Pacers history. All they need to do is steal one game on the road, and they will be on their way to their first Eastern Conference Finals in 10 years.