The Indiana Pacers drew out Friday night’s home loss against the Phoenix Suns for as long as they could. Indiana was down 111-105, with 20.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, when Danny Granger hit a quick three-point shot, to close the gap. The Pacers fouled immediately on the following inbound pass, and Phoenix forward Channing Frye missed both free throw shots. In their previous possession, Frye had hit a three-point shot with 28.7 remaining, to help put the game nearly out of reach. Indiana got the rebound from Frye’s second missed free throw and called a timeout, with 16.2 seconds left in the game.
The Suns fouled Granger, and he hit two foul shots, bringing the Pacers within one point of a tie. Indiana fouled again on the inbound pass, this time sending former NBA MVP Steve Nash to the line. Nash, who hit all six of his foul shots on Friday night, put the Suns up 113-110, with less than ten seconds to go. New Pacer (and former Phoenix Sun) Leandro Barbosa missed a deep shot on the other end of the floor, but the ball was tipped out of bounds by Phoenix. With 2.6 seconds left, the Suns fouled Paul George. George hit the first free throw, and then had to make a rare play. Being down by three points, George was forced to intentionally miss the second foul shot, in hopes of giving Indiana one last chance at a rebound and a game-tying basket.
George bounced the ball off the rim and got his own rebound. Falling forward, George put up a quick shot with his left hand, but the ball hit the rim and rolled out. Indiana took a seven point lead into halftime, found themselves down by seven at the end of the third quarter, and lost 113-111 in the games’ final moments.
The Pacers have no time to be heartbroken, as they must return to play on Saturday night. Indiana must travel to Wisconsin Saturday to play the Milwaukee Bucks, finishing off the third straight game of a back-to-back-to-back.