The best part about not being blown out of an NBA game is that if you’re within five points at the two-minute mark of the fourth, you get the privilege of showing up on the Last Two Minute report the following day.
In Mondy's Kings’ 127-122 win over the Pacers, the officiating made three mistakes, which is about par for the course. Two went in favor of Indiana and one went Sacramento’s way.
With the Kings leading 116-115 with just over two minutes remaining, Harrison Barnes took a pass from De’Aaron Fox at the left elbow. He attacked Justin Holiday off the dribble, who fell down trying to draw a charge.
Once free of Holiday, Barnes went to the rim where Domantas Sabonis was waiting. As Barnes went to go up for the shot, Sabonis bodied him, which caused him to take an off-balance shot that missed badly.
Sabonis took down the rebound, hit Victor Oladipo with an outlet pass, who went coast-to-coast to give the Pacers a 117-116 lead. According to the two-minute report, Sabonis should have been called for a foul and Barnes should have been shooting free throws.
“Sabonis does not maintain verticality as he makes contact to Barnes' head that affects his driving shot attempt,” the L2M report reads.
The second instance of an officiating miscue came at the 1:14 mark of the fourth with the Kings once again looking to extend a one-point lead. De’Aaron Fox took the ball to the hoop, but Sabonis made contact again.
While the Last Two Minute report says Sabonis’ hit on Fox was legal, that’s debatable. It’s clear that the Pacers big man did not remain straight up, but Richaun Holmes was there for the rebound.
In the ensuing madness, Malcolm Brogdon grabbed Holmes’ arm, which made him lose control of the ball. The officials missed the foul on Brogdon.
“Brogdon makes contact to Holmes' arm that affects his control of the ball after securing the rebound.”
Holmes hit the floor trying to grab the loose ball, as did Sabonis. The ball trickled out to Buddy Hield, who scooped it up, took a step back and drilled a 3-point shot to give the Kings a 121-117 lead with 1:10 remaining.
The final instance of an officiating error came with 12.5 seconds remaining and the Kings leading 126-119. Oladipo got the ball in the backcourt and made a run at the Kings’ defense looking for a quick shot or foul.
Harrison Barnes picked him up as he crossed half court and Oladipo leaned into him trying to draw contact as he attempted a long 3-point shot. The officials let the contact go and Oladipo’s shot was way offline.
“Barnes makes contact to Oladipo's arm that affects his jump shot attempt.”
Cory Joseph grabbed the rebound off the Oladipo miss, the Pacers fouled him quickly and the game was all but over.
The last foul had very little bearing on the final outcome of the game. The Kings were up seven points with less than 13 seconds remaining. Even if Oladipo hit all three free throws, it was still the Kings’ ball with a two-possession lead.
This is the second time the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report has favored the Kings this season. It acts as nothing more than an accountability tool for the league’s officials and the final outcome of the game is not impacted.