Much of the analysis of the Indiana Pacers overtime loss to the Utah Jazz will surround a questionable call by the officials at the end of the game. Paul Millsap passed the ball off the backboard on an in-bounds play before being fouled and sent to the line. The Pacers argued it should have been a turnover since a ball hitting the back of the backboard is considered out of bounds. The refs ruled it hit the side of the board, which is considered in play and stayed with the ruling on the floor without video replay.
Pacers fans will be stuck on the refs blowing the call and the game for their team. In actuality, the Pacers blew this game for themselves. Indiana wasted one of their best shooting nights of the season (44 of 81, 54.3% FG) by committing 22 turnovers leading to 28 points for Utah. It also didn’t help that the vaunted Pacers defense had its second bad game in a row, giving up a season-high 114 points on 53% shooting to the Jazz.
“Our defense has been solid all year,” said David West after the game. “We didn’t do enough at the hoop. We’ve been playing good team defense, we just abandoned that the last couple of games. We just need to get a little more active.”
The losses in Portland and Utah were only the second time the Pacers relinquished 100 points in consecutive games all season. Indiana has lost two straight games for the first time in six weeks.
The Pacers didn’t lose this game on a questionable call at the end. They lost it because of their own carelessness with the ball, turning it over on 22% of their possessions. They lost it because they allowed 60 points in the paint, giving up lay-up after lay-up. Indiana put itself in position to get burned by a questionable call with its own uneven play. The Pacers didn’t deserve to win because of themselves, not the referees.
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