Mazzulla: "Hield mentioned fouling." Last-second Brown shot

On Monday night, despite a tense final seconds, the Boston Celtics lost 133–131 to the Indiana Pacers, who were playing with a depleted roster.

With three seconds remaining, Jaylen Brown attempted the game-winning shot, but the score remained tied at 131. While trying to stop the shot from behind, Pacers guard Buddy Hield seemed to make contact with Brown's back of the head.

After the Pacers protested the first foul call, the action was re-evaluated. Indiana was awarded possession of the ball when an unexpected change in the call reversed the foul.

After star point player Tyrese Haliburton left the game due to a leg injury, the Pacers marched up the court and fouled Kristaps Porzingis in the final seconds of the game, giving the win to Indiana. Following the game, Joe Mazzulla, coach of the Celtics, stated that after the challenge ended, Hield approached him and admitted to fouling Brown.

Mazzulla informed the reporters, "Buddy Hield told me he fouled him [Brown]," after his assertion that he eagerly awaits Monday's 4 p.m. ET match. "I can't wait for the two-minute report."

After the game, Brown told reporters, "I think he definitely smacked me in the head.  It is my firm belief that further inquiry is necessary. That is all I will say at this time. That seemed to be the most apparent choice. The term "head part of the ball" is completely foreign to me.

It's very confusing to me, so I went up to him and said, 'Did I get struck in the head?' 'No, you didn't get hit in the head.' He stares me dead in the eye, and I'm like, OK. You want us not to be irritated when you make a mistake on the opposite end that costs our side a game.

Despite missing two game-winning free throws, two-time All-Star Josh Brown nonetheless played well in Jayson Tatum's absence due to the latter's injured ankle. With 40 points, five boards, and two assists, Brown established a new season best.

After losing to the Pacers on Monday night, both Boston and Indiana now have a split of the season series. The fifth and last meeting of the regular season will take place on January 30.