On the game’s second-to-last possession, the Pacers gave the ball to Paul George in isolation. They didn’t even need a bucket. In a tie game, they just needed a point.
George started his move on Andre Iguodala, one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders. There was contact as the two clashed 30 feet from the hoop and the ball fell out of Paul’s control. Iguodala grabbed it and called time out, which gave Denver one last chance to win the game. Which it did on a controversial foul called on George as he and Iguodala, again, collided.
Both plays were probably fouls, but the attempted steal by Andre as George dribbled was more egregious. It seemed to be, clearly, a foul.
Now, the NBA has admitted as much, noting that the officials missed the foul.
This does nothing to help Indiana out in the standings, of course. I still don’t believe this one play was the reason the Pacers lost the game. But it certainly was the final roadblock that kept them from winning. The Nuggets still would have had time left to score afterward, but I am certain Paul George would have knocked down at least on of his free throws.
Tough break for Indiana, and this admission by the league will do little to take the sting away, I’m sure.