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NBA admits refs missed a huge call at the end of the Pacers’ win over the Warriors

Jan 21, 2012, 6:49 PM EDT

Kevin Love‘s big shot to beat the Clippers may have been the big story in the NBA on Friday, but there was another play near the end of regulation in the game between the Pacers and the Warriors that was just as exciting.

Only with that one, the NBA admits the officials made a horrible mistake.

Here’s how the play transpired: Game tied at 91, shot clock and game clock virtually in sync. Monta Ellis dribbles it down at the top of the three-point arc with George Hill defending. Ellis makes his move with about five seconds left, but Hill appears to get the steal, and goes for the and-1 lay-in at the other end.

Watching the replay, however, it’s clear that Hill’s foot, and not his quick hands, deserve the credit for the steal. And since it was an intentional gesture with the foot, it should have been the Warriors’ ball out of bounds instead of game over in the Pacers’ favor.

The NBA admitted as much in a statement on Saturday, via my man Matt Steinmetz of

With 5.4 seconds remaining in the Indiana-Golden State game on Jan. 20, Pacers guard George Hill intentionally kicked the ball away from Warriors guard Monta Ellis during his cross over dribble. According to rule no. 10, Section IV.b, kicking the ball or striking it with any part of the leg is a violation when it is an intentional act. The officials missed the kicked ball violation which should have resulted in a deadball situation and Golden State inbounding the ball on the sideline nearest the spot of the violation.

In real time, and given the position of the closest official (behind Hill in front of the Warriors’ bench), it was likely impossible to tell that Hill had made that ever-so-slight move forward with the right foot, just as Ellis tried to cross over, which allowed him to get the steal. And certainly, this admission from the league is too little, too late as far as the Warriors and their fans are concerned. But more and more, as the league continues to review and admit to these mistakes going forward, it’s a positive step in general for the way things may transpire in the future.

  1. andyp03 - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    The NBA should also admit that he traveled.

    • thestudiokida - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      EXACTLY!! I’m not generally a fan of the traveling call but what Monta did there is a huge advantage for the ball handler if he can get away with it.

      • spree8 - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        I believe he did not mean it for monta. i may be wrong tho. but alsa, hill took like 5 steps before the foul call.

  2. bossmangunny - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Mark Jackson should have thrown a protest flag..oops my bad,wrong sport..point is refs mess up calls all the time but Monta Ellis’ crossover was very weak on that play.He was asking to turn the ball over

  3. redbullenergydrink - Jan 21, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Luckily this wasn’t a game 7 in the playoffs.

  4. glink123 - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    The horrible state of NBA officiating is definitely near the top of the list of “Biggest Failures” during David Stern’s tenure as Commissioner. He’s completely neglected that aspect of the game, and it now ranks last in quality among Big Sports.

  5. drewsylvania - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Mistakes we can live with. It’s the corrupt Donaghey/Thierry Henry BS that is the problem. Everyone thinks your refs are corrupt, Stern. Fix it.

  6. theallegedone - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:21 AM


  7. max20characters - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    Wanna hear a joke? NBA Officiating.

  8. metalhead65 - Jan 22, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    big deal! let me know when they admit the officials gave jordan and the bulls the series against Reggie and the pacers in the nba finals with all the bogus calls the bulls got. hard to win when smits is sitting on the bench because of phantom calls and the bulls are going to the line 40 times a game because of the special treatmant jordan and the bulls got. bulls fans you know it was true so don’t deny it,he was a great player who did not need the you were near him so it was a foul calls they got that series.

  9. glink123 - Jan 23, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Dude, if you’re referring to the 1998 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 7, the Bulls shot 41 free throws, while the Pacers shot 37. Let it go. lmfao.

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