Buddy Hield Makes Confession to Joe Mazzulla After Crushing Celtics Loss

Jaylen Brown

Getty The Boston Celtics suffered a crushing loss to the Indiana Pacers despite Jaylen Brown's 40 points.

The Boston Celtics had a shot at this one. Actually, they should’ve had two shots but never got them.

Jaylen Brown appeared to have been hit in the head by Buddy Hield as he took a short jumper with 3.2 seconds left and the game tied. A foul was called, but Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle challenged the play, and it was overturned. The Pacers went on to post a 133-131 victory after Bennedict Mathurin hit two of three free throws to seal the victory for the Pacers on Monday, January 8.

After the game, Mazzulla told reporters that Hield admitted to fouling Brown.

Joe Mazzulla: ‘I Can’t Wait Until 4 o’clock Tomorrow’

The short-handed Celtics looked for their second straight victory over the Pacers in Indiana in three days after knocking off Indiana 118-101 on Saturday, January 6.

Playing without Jayson Tatum (ankle maintenance), the Celtics rode Brown’s 40-point effort but came up short after the overturned call that seemingly was botched.

Replays showed Hield’s arm making contact with the side of Brown’s head before Hield partially blocked Brown’s shot. Brown and Mazzulla couldn’t believe the call was overturned, and the Pacers took possession at half-court after taking their final timeout.

Mathurin was fouled by Kristaps Porzingis on a 3-point attempt with 0.6 seconds remaining. He made the first two free throws before missing the last one on purpose. After Al Horford grabbed the rebound and called timeout, the Celtics had one last shot with 0.3 seconds left.

The Celtics had all three big men — Porzingis, Horford and Luke Kornet — in for the final play. Derrick White inbounded a lob pass that Kornet tipped and bounced off the rim.

Mazzulla quickly left the court and admitted to reporters that Hield told him he fouled Brown.

“I can’t wait until 4 o’clock tomorrow,” Mazzulla said, referring to when the Last Two Minute Report (a play-by-play of calls and no calls in the final two minutes) comes out. “Buddy just told me that he fouled him.”

Hield Wouldn’t Divulge What He Told Mazzulla

According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Hield wouldn’t reveal what he said to Mazzulla after the game. He admitted he made some contact with Brown, but the officials ultimately made the call.

The loss was a tough one to swallow for Boston, which still boasts the best record in the league at 28-8.

The win could also be costly to the Pacers.

While Tatum and Sam Hauser were out for the Celtics, Indiana star Tyrese Haliburton injured his hamstring in the second quarter and played just 13 minutes. He scored seven points.

“Really amazing effort from our team,” Carlisle said in a post-game press conference. “A lot of emotions in this game, for a lot of reasons: you’re playing the best team in basketball and Tyrese’s injury situation.”

Brown was clearly the story for the Celtics. With Tatum out, Brown took charge, making 17 of 26 shots from the floor. Brown also had 5 rebounds.

“He stepped up and didn’t force anything,” Mazzulla said of Brown. “He let the game come to him, and he scored in many different ways.”

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