Tyrese Haliburton’s return for Pacers spoiled by disastrous NBA officiating

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Tonight was not just another game in the 82-game regular season. The Los Angeles Lakers were in town in a matchup circled on the calendars of local fans. A sold out Gainbridge Fieldhouse was treated to a fast paced, back-and-forth affair that left Pacers fans grinning ear-to-ear only to fall to the Lakers 112-111 in a game led by the Pacers most of the way.

The Pacers were up to the challenge of facing LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers to begin a 3-game homestand this week, much in thanks to the news earlier in the day that Tyrese Haliburton would be inserted back in the starting lineup after being sidelined with knee and elbow injuries for the past few weeks. His impact was immediate and noticeable. More on that in a moment.

And while one of the big stories is the large free throw discrepancy in the game (16 vs 0 in the fourth quarter), we should not be surprised as NBA officiating typically favors large market teams. However, there were many other aspects of the game in terms of the what went well and what didn’t.

Let’s go through the good, the bad, and the Boom Baby play(er) of the game.