NBA admits missed offensive foul call on Pascal Siakam in Knicks’ Game 3 loss to Pacers

As thrilling and tightly contested as the series between the Knicks and Indiana Pacers in the semifinals of the Eastern Conference championship has been, it’s the controversial officiating that has dominated headlines. Game 3 on Friday night was no different.

Up 2-0 in the series (while getting some guff by Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle in the process) and traveling to Indianapolis looking to take a commanding lead in the best-of-seven bout, New York – without OG Anunoby – went into the fourth quarter up by five.

The Knicks were ultimately outscored 26-16 in the final frame and lost Game 3, 111-106. However, on Saturday the NBA’s last two-minute report revealed that the refs missed a crucial offensive foul call on Pascal Siakam down the stretch which could’ve changed the momentum of the game immensely.

With 1:57 left in the game and the score tied at 102-102, Siakam grabbed Isaiah Hartenstein’s arm underneath the rim as Andrew Nembhard drove to the basket, preventing “Hartenstein’s ability to defend the oncoming driving shot attempt,” per the report. Nembhard then had an easy go-ahead layup that gave Indiana a two-point lead.

The no-call not only helped give the Pacers the lead, but if the offensive foul had been called on Siakam – who finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and one assist – he would’ve fouled out.

Though that play was the only missed/incorrect call that the NBA found in the final two minutes of the game, to make matters worse, on the play right before it appeared Miles Turner should’ve been called for goaltending on a fast-break layup attempt by Josh Hart with 2:04 remaining that would’ve given the Knicks a two-point lead.

Instead, Siakam grabbed the rebound on the blocked shot and passed it to Tyrese Haliburton who dished it to Nembhard who made the basket.

To New York’s credit, it tied the game at 106-106 with 42.1 seconds left on Jalen Brunson’s three-pointer. But after Haliburton missed a three of his own, Indiana secured the offensive rebound and with the shot clock winding down, it was Nembhard once again who heaved a 31-foot three-point shot that went in with 17.1 seconds left in the game to give the Pacers the lead and eventual win.

Nembhard finished with five points as he was held scoreless before his two huge field goals at the end of the game.