For second time in five games, NBA says Pacers Chris Duarte was fouled on potential game-winner

·3 min read

INDIANAPOLIS — To no one's surprise, the NBA admitted Thursday in its Last Two Minute Report that Pacers rookie Chris Duarte was fouled in the closing seconds of Indiana's 114-111 loss against the Hawks on Wednesday night, negating his chance to potentially win the game for Indiana.

Dec 1, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Chris Duarte (3) shoots the ball while Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) defends in the second half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 1, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Chris Duarte (3) shoots the ball while Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) defends in the second half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the Pacers trailing 112-111, Atlanta's Kevin Huerter pulled Duarte down by his jersey on a fast-break layup attempt with 5.6 seconds left in the game and should have been called for a shooting foul, according to the report, but none of the officials blew their whistles. Instead of Duarte being awarded a pair of free throws to take the lead, it was Hawks star Trae Young who grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Domantas Sabonis with 1.2 seconds left. Young made two free throws to put his team up three points en route to its first win in Indianapolis since the 2016-17 season.

Malcolm Brogdon missed a potential game-tying half-court heave at the buzzer.

"I couldn't sleep (Wednesday) night. That's the type of person I am," Duarte said practice. “(Thursday) is a new day so you gotta keep moving forward."

This is the second time in fives games the NBA's L2M Report stated Duarte was fouled on a potential game-winning shot in the closing moments. Last week, Duarte drained a game-tying 3 against the Lakers with 6.5 seconds left in the game while being fouled by Avery Bradley, but the officials swallowed their whistles and so he wasn't properly awarded an additional free throw.

Duarte, who was not made available to the media after the loss Wednesday, sounded off in a heated Instagram story post that has since been deleted.

"This (expletive) is unacceptable," Duarte wrote late Wednesday night. " ... we only get gonna get better from here on!!! Learn from it kid."

Duarte said his family and specifically his young son, Chris Jr., helped him cool off.

"I thank God I have my son," Duarte said. "Once I got home he was waiting for me, and he brought me a smile on my face, so that was good."

Brogdon said Wednesday night that the Pacers can't "blame the refs" for their NBA-high eighth loss by four points or less, and Duarte said he's ready to put the controversial defeat in his rearview mirror.

When asked if he rewatched the foul and no-call on his last-second layup, Duarte formed a wry smile and quickly dismissed the idea.

"Nah," Duarte said. "I don't want to go back to that."

Follow IndyStar Pacers beat writer James Boyd on Twitter: @RomeovilleKid. Reach him via email: jboyd1@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Pacers: NBA says Chris Duarte fouled on potential game-winner for 2nd time

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