NBA: Pacers got away with illegal screen before go-ahead jumper against Knicks

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The Pacers are in a spirited battle for playoff position.

They’re trying to hold off the Bulls for the eighth seed and outpace the Pistons for the seventh seed, which would likely mean avoiding the Cavaliers in the first round. Indiana (41-36) is tied with Detroit for seventh and two games ahead of Chicago.

But the Pacers have struggled with mediocre or worse teams recently – losing to the Nets, Bulls and Magic. And Indiana’s win over the Knicks on Sunday came only after a crucial missed call, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.

With the game tied and 30 seconds remaining, Ian Mahinmi got away with an illegal screen on Arron Afflalo. NBA:

Mahinmi (IND) continues moving and extends his hip as he sets the screen on Afflalo (NYK) without giving him room to avoid the contact.

After the uncalled offensive foul, Paul George hit the go-ahead jumper. The Knicks missed on the other end, and they had to begin intentionally fouling. The Pacers added a few free throws in their 92-87 win.

A correct call would’ve turned the ball over, giving New York a chance to go ahead. If the Knicks ran the clock down before shooting, as they should’ve, even a miss would’ve allowed only a rushed Indiana possession.

The loss means little to the Knicks, who are out of the playoff race and already traded their first-round pick.

But, for the Pacers, every win – and every call – helps.