On Monday night, the Indiana Pacers bounced back with a win over the Boston Celtics. After a tough loss to the Celtics on Friday, they found a way to win on Monday in spite of an injury to Tyrese Haliburton.
Haliburton went down in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, and the Celtics walked into halftime up by nine points. Despite that, the Pacers, led by TJ McConnell, picked up a big-time win.
However, the victory was covered in controversy, as the final minute of the game included a couple of controversial calls, one of which was overturned by the referees.
With the game tied, Jaylen Brown drove down the court and took a contested mid-range jump shot. Buddy Hield was called for a foul, which head coach Rick Carlisle challenged.
The Pacers eventually won the challenge, and the call was overturned. But on the replay, it looked clear that Hield hit Brown in the back of the head with his forearm.
Needless to say, Brown and the Celtics were very upset. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James also chimed in on Twitter, calling out the refs for blowing the ball, noting that Brown “clearly got hit in the back of the head.”
Following the controversial overturned call, Kristaps Porzingis was called for a foul on Bennedict Mathurin, which sent the Pacers youngster to the line. He nailed the first two free throws, eventually icing the game for Indiana.
Boston was also upset with that call, but most of the discourse after the game had to do with the overturned call against Brown, especially considering what was said to Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla.
According to Mazzulla, Hield told him after the game that he did, in fact, hit Brown on the head. The Celtics head coach said that he would be waiting for the NBA’s Last Two-Minute report the following day.
As for Hield, he wouldn’t confirm nor deny what he said to Mazzulla but did say that he spoke with the Boston coach.
In the end, the call was what it was, and the Pacers walked away with a victory, putting them back on track in a tough Eastern Conference after a bad loss to the same Celtics on Friday.