Boston Celtics

Mazzulla: ‘Hield told me he fouled' Brown on last-second shot

With three seconds left, Jaylen Brown's shot would have won Boston the game.

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The Boston Celtics were unable to beat the short-handed Indiana Pacers on Monday night, falling 133-131 over some last-second drama.

With the score tied at 131 with three seconds left, Jaylen Brown went up for what would have been a game-winning shot attempt. Pacers guard Buddy Hield attempted to block the shot from behind and seemingly made contact with the back of Brown's head on the play.

The play was initially ruled a foul, but the Pacers challenged the call. In a shocking turn of events, the foul was called back, and Indiana was given possession of the ball.

Without star point guard Tyrese Haliburton, who was carried off the court with a leg injury earlier in the game, the Pacers were able to draw a foul on Kristaps Porzingis on Bennedict Mathurin's last-second shot attempt, handing Indiana the win.

After the game, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla claimed that Hield approached him after the challenge concluded and admitted he fouled Brown.

"Buddy Hield told me he fouled him [Brown]," Mazzulla told the media -- via SB Nation's Noa Dalzell -- after saying that he can't wait for (Tuesday) at 4 p.m. ET. "I can't wait for the two-minute report."

Brown was equally frustrated with the controversial call.

"I think he obviously hit me in the head," Brown told reporters after the game. "I think we definitely need to do some investigation, that's all I'm gonna say. I think that was the obvious one. Like, I've never heard of head part of the ball.

"Doesn't make any sense to me and I asked him, I went up and asked, 'Did I get hit in the head?' He looks me straight in the face and he says, 'No, you didn't get hit in the head.' and I'm like, OK. And then you come down and make on the other end -- Like, that costs our team a game and you expect us not to be frustrated."

While Brown was robbed of two free throws that could have won the game, the two-time All-Star still shined without Jayson Tatum, who was sidelined to rest his sprained ankle. Brown set a new season-high with 40 points, adding five rebounds and two assists.

Monday night's loss to the Pacers means that Boston and Indiana have each won two games apiece in their season series. They will meet again for a fifth and final time in the regular season on Jan. 30.

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