Knicks vs. Pacers controversial ending, explained: How Myles Turner’s moving screen helped New York seal Game 1 win

The Knicks fought their way to a Game 1 win over the Pacers, but not without some controversy.

New York trailed by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter but continued to chip away at Indiana’s lead.

Behind Jalen Brunson’s fourth-consecutive 40-point game, Josh Hart’s relentless 24 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists, and Donte DiVincenzo’s 25 points on five 3-pointers, the “Nova Knicks” gave New York the spark it needed to come away with a 121-117 victory.

The game was a back-and-forth, fast-paced battle, but it came to a grinding halt at the end due to a series of challenges and replay reviews.

DiVincenzo broke a tie with a massive 3-pointer to give the Knicks a lead with 40 seconds to go (just moments after a bad kick-ball violation on Aaron Nesmith). Pacers star forward Pascal Siakam responded with a bucket to cut the deficit to one with 26 seconds remaining, but chaos continued from there.

A successful Knicks challenge, a disputable moving screen on Myles Turner, and an ensuing unsuccessful challenge by Indiana bogged down the finish, leaving Pacers fans feeling robbed of a chance to steal Game 1 on the road.

The Sporting News breaks it all down below.

Knicks vs. Pacers controversial ending, explained

After Siakam’s layup cut the Knicks’ lead to one with 26.1 seconds to play, Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard picked up Brunson full court. He forced Brunson to lose his dribble and the ball bounced out of bounds, but the Knicks challenged the call on the floor. A replay review showed the ball went off of Nembhard’s foot, retaining possession for New York.

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Brunson ended up getting hit with the ball while out of bounds on a trap off the inbound four seconds later, giving the Pacers the ball, down by one, with 18.1 seconds to play.

Myles Turner’s controversial moving screen

With the game on the line, Turner went to set a high ball screen for Tyrese Haliburton. As DiVincenzo attempted to fight around the screen, he made hard contact with Turner and went flying. His acting sold the call, as the referee whistled turnover for a very controversial moving screen.

You be the judge below.

Did Turner move a little bit as he tried to set the screen? Yes. Have we seen worse moving screens that weren’t called in the NBA? Yes. Did DiVincenzo flop to get the call? Also, yes. Should that have been called a moving screen in the biggest moment of the game? No.

The Pacers challenged the call on the floor, but the referees said that Turner did not get set before contact was made with DiVincenzo.

To add insult to injury, Nembhard was called for an “away from the play” foul on Brunson before the Knicks could get the ball inbounds, giving New York one free throw and the ball again.

Brunson calmly knocked down the “away from the play” free throw, then was fouled again and hit the next two freebies to give the Knicks a four-point, two-possession lead with 10 seconds remaining.

Hart forced a turnover on the next play, and the Knicks held home court at Madison Square Garden to take a 1-0 series lead over the Pacers.

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Pacers coach Rick Carlisle on controversial moving screen call

“I don’t want to talk about the officiating,” Carlisle said postgame before being prodded on the controversial moving screen call.

“We’re not expecting to get calls in here. It would be nice if they laid off that one, but they didn’t. That’s just the way it goes. We challenged it, they reviewed it, they got a bunch of people [at the review office in Secaucus, N.J.] who agreed with them. That’s just the way it goes.

“We gotta learn from that, too. That’s a timing play. Both guys are involved. We’ll have to execute that better next time.”

Carlisle remained calm and elected to take the high road instead of getting hit with a fine for criticizing the referees.

Be on the lookout for a lengthy “Last Two Minute” report from the NBA office on Tuesday, though.

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