NBA confirms key illegal screen call on Turner

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NEW YORK — Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner was correctly called for an illegal screen in the closing seconds of the New York Knicks’ controversial 121-117 victory in Game 1, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report released Tuesday evening.

With about 15 seconds left and Indiana down 118-117, Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton dribbled up the floor as Turner set a high screen on New York’s Donte DiVincenzo, sending him to the ground. Turner got called for an offensive foul instantly, which prompted the Pacers to challenge the call.

The Pacers were unsuccessful with the challenge, and the league’s report stood by that ruling Tuesday.

Still, there were a total of four missed calls in the final two minutes, according to the league’s report: Turner should have been whistled for a separate illegal screen on DiVincenzo in the backcourt with about 10 seconds remaining; there was an errant kicked ball violation called on Aaron Nesmith with 53 seconds left; and prior to those, officials missed calling a defensive three seconds violation on Turner with 1:19 left.

After the Game 1 defeat, Turner said, “In my experience in this league, I think it’s best when the players decide the outcome of the game,” while adding that he looked forward to the release of the Last Two Minute Report.

Following the call on Turner, the Knicks sank three free throws to put the game away. Moments before the call, DiVincenzo put the Knicks up 118-115 with a 28-foot 3-pointer that came on the heels of the critical kicked ball violation whistled against Nesmith — one that likely would have resulted in an Indiana fast break if not for the errant call.

Crew chief Zach Zarba acknowledged after the game that the kicked ball shouldn’t have been called. “Postgame review did show that it hit the defender’s hand, which would be legal,” he told pool reporter Fred Katz of The Athletic.

The Knicks and the Pacers are set to square off for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

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