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NEW YORK -- On the one hand, Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner is awaiting Tuesday's Last Two Minute Report. Turner didn't like the offensive foul called against him with 12.1 seconds left in their first-round series opener against the New York Knicks on Monday, and he strongly disagreed with the kicked ball violation called against Indiana wing Aaron Nesmith 40 seconds earlier.

"We're all looking forward to that coming out," Turner said. About the offensive foul, he said, "In my experience in this league, I think it's the best when the players decide the outcome of the game. I think it's unfortunate it happened. We reviewed it and they still called it illegal screen, but it's the playoffs, man. I feel like [Donte] DiVincenzo did a good job of selling it." About the kick ball, he said, "That was not a kick ball. You can clearly see on the replay." 

On the other hand, Turner did not want to blame the officiating for the Pacers' Game 1 121-117 loss at Madison Square Garden. While he clearly had grievances, he also said that "we have to take accountability as well." Emotions were still fresh, he said, but "you can't leave the game to be decided by the refs."

The best way to avoid a late-game officiating controversy is always to have a lead big enough that a couple of calls can't erase it. Turner said he told his teammates in the locker room that they need to learn from the loss and move on.

"We have a very young team, and my speech to them after the game was telling them, like what I just told y'all, you can't rely on the refs at the end of the game," Turner said. "Especially in this building. You know, Game 1 on the road, it's kind of a tough position to put ourselves in. But we take on the chin, and we just get ready for Game 2. That's all you can do. The best thing about this is we play every other day. So we make our adjustments, get ready to go on Wednesday and don't look too much into the two minute report. It just is what it is. I just think that there's going to be some glaring things in it."

Turner was clearly of two minds. And while Indiana was not pleased with the way the game ended, nobody went on a scorched-earth tirade. 

Asked about the crunch-time call that went against him, Nesmith said, "It wasn't a kick ball, you can clearly see it. But it is what it is."

Asked about Turner's foul, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said, "I don't want to talk about the officiating. We're not expecting to get calls in here. It would be nice if they laid off that one, but they didn't. So that's just the way it goes. I mean, we challenged it, they reviewed it, they had a bunch of people in New Jersey that agreed with 'em." 

Carlisle said he rewatched the last four minutes before his press conference and "couldn't see for sure" whether or not the kicked ball violation was correctly called. He said that Nesmith's "leg moved a little bit, so they assumed it was a kick," but Nesmith had told him the ball hit his hand, not his foot.

In an interview with a pool reporter, crew chief Zach Zarba said that Nesmith was right. The call, which occurred with the game tied 115-115 and prevented an Indiana fast break, was incorrect. (Kicked ball violations cannot be challenged.)

"On the floor we felt that would be a kicked ball violation," Zarba said. "Post-game review did show that it hit the defender's hand, which would be legal."

Pacers guard T.J. McConnell had no interest in discussing what Turner described as "two controversial calls." Informed that Turner had said that the team was looking forward to the Last Two Minute Report, McConnell said, "We can't worry about the officiating. They're just trying to do their job, and there were many plays that we could have made where it didn't even come down to that, so that's the stuff we've got to focus on."

Informed that Zarba had said the kicked ball violation was legal, and asked how the final 52 seconds might have been different if it was officiated correctly in the moment, McConnell said he wasn't sure, then repeated himself: "There were plays that we could have made where it doesn't even come down to that. So, you know, unfortunate, but we gotta move on and fix things that we didn't do well." 

Those things, in Carlisle's estimation, were defensive rebounding (the Knicks rebounded 56.3% of their own misses in the second half), fouls (New York shot 22 for 26 from the free throw line and) and taking care of the ball (Indiana star Tyrese Haliburton had live-ball turnovers on two consecutive possessions with less than four minutes remaining). 

"There's so many events that are an NBA game," Carlisle said. "I mean, there's always a sharp focus on the last minute, but there were things that happened with five or six minutes left that really hurt us." Carlisle referenced a defensive possession about halfway through the fourth quarter in which "one of our guys took a wild run to try to gamble and steal the ball, and it turned into a four-point play for them." Nesmith was the offender -- he chased after Knicks big man Isaiah Hartenstein -- and his mistake was compounded when Josh Hart proceeded to get an and-1, miss the free throw, grab the rebound and make a layup.

Heartbreaking as the loss may be, Carlisle framed it as a learning experience.

"This is great experience for our guys," he said. "It comes at a cost. It's no fun. But we're gonna have to learn some things for Game 2."