Pacers forward Paul George nailed a three-pointer from near midcourt during Indiana's 101-94 home victory over Detroit on Wednesday.
This one looks absolutely insane at first glance but it turns out there was a fairly reasonable explanation.
With a little more than three minutes remaining and the reeling Pacers clinging to a one-point lead, Roy Hibbert attempted a shot in traffic and came up with his own offensive rebound. Looking to reset the offense to run some clock and get a play, Hibbert kicked the ball out to George, who was unguarded near the center circle. George initially motioned for Indiana to calm down and get organized.
There was only one problem: the shot clock was slow to reset, leading George to decide that he should pull the trigger to avoid a possible shot-clock violation. With one foot on the center circle, George launched a pull-up three-pointer that swished in, and the improbable long shot brought a smile to his face. Of course, the shot clock reset right about the same time he entered his shooting motion, taking the absurdity to another level.
In a walk-off interview with Fox Sports Indiana, George called the shot the "wildest" three-pointer of his career, but he wanted to make it clear he wasn't just hoisting for hoisting's sake.
"They reset [the shot clock] as I was shooting," he explained. "They kind of messed me up."
Clearing the air was a smart move. An All-Star chucking from roughly 40 feet with 20+ seconds left on the clock in the closing minutes of a tight game would have been pretty unseemly, especially considering Hibbert's recent suggestion that some of his teammates were "selfish" and also in light of George's recent shooting struggles (he's shooting 39.4 percent overall and 33.3 percent from deep since the All-Star Break). Instead of a debate of George's motives, though, we get to simply enjoy an outrageously entertaining bomb.
George finished with a game-high 27 points (on 9-for-19 shooting), 13 rebounds and seven assists. David West added 15 points (on 7-for-10 shooting), eight rebounds and three assists for Indiana.
Josh Smith led the Pistons with 24 points (on 9-for-20 shooting) and five rebounds. Greg Monroe added 17 points (on 6-for-21 shooting) and 16 rebounds in a losing effort.
Indiana snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 53-23 with the win. Detroit dropped to 27-48 with the loss.