Salt Lake City (TSN) – Al Jefferson scored 25 points and Paul Millsap added 21 points and five steals to lead the Utah Jazz to a controversial, 114-110, overtime win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.
Trailing 112-107 with 6.4 seconds left, George Hill nailed a deep 3-pointer to pull the Pacers within 112-10 with just 2.2 ticks showing.
Millsap then appeared to throw the inbounds pass off the backboard then caught the carom in bounds and was quickly fouled.
The officials huddled briefly to discuss the play, but ruled the ball hit the side of the backboard — which is considered in play — and Millsap sunk the ensuing free throws.
“The referees made a call we have to live with. My interpretation is if the ball goes out of bounds they can review who it was off of,” said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. “The question there was did it go out of bounds, did it hit the back of the backboard triggering it out of bounds? They did not call it that way so it’s not reviewable. That’s my understanding.”
Five sides of the backboard — the front, both sides and both the top and bottom — are considered in play, and anything behind the backboard is considered out of bounds.
David West’s pass on the ensuing inbounds play sailed out of bounds and the Jazz held on for the win.
“It’s another win. The guys, I thought, after last night showed a lot of poise to come in and play against a physical team like these guys,” said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. “The fight that these guys have shown all year and continue to show is encouraging.”
Gordon Hayward scored 15 points and dished out six assists, Randy Foye scored 14 points and Derrick Favors added 11 for the Jazz, who improved to 15-4 at EnergySolutions Arena this season.
West finished with 24 points, Paul George added 23 and Hill finished with 22 for the Pacers, who dropped back-to-back games for the first time since dropping two straight on Dec. 7 and Dec. 9.
Utah led, 97-89, with 2:44 left in regulation, but the Pacers outscored Utah, 9-1 to force the bonus period.
The Jazz scored the first six points of overtime to open up a 104-98 lead, but the Pacers were able to pull within 108-104 with just over 1 1/2 minutes left.
A Jefferson layup with 34.7 seconds left made it a six point game at 110-104, but George canned a trey four seconds later to cut Indiana’s deficit to 110-107.
Following a George miss, Hayward was fouled but injured his right shoulder on the play and was forced to leave the game with 7.9 seconds left.
After a Utah timeout, Foye was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Jazz a 112-107 cushion with 6.4 seconds to go.
The Jazz led, 27-24, after the first period but went into the break trailing 48-45. Utah outscored Indiana, 31-20, in the third to take a 76-68 lead into the final period.
The Jazz scored 28 points off of 22 Indiana turnovers … Utah has won five of its last six … The Jazz shot 53 percent (44-for-83) from the field and the Pacers went 44-for-81 (54.3 percent) from the floor … Pacers center Roy Hibbert finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.