The ending of the Indiana Pacers 133-131 win over the Boston Celtics saw a controversial overturned call in the final seconds of the game and social media users were vocal about it — including LeBron James.
Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown was pulling up for a potential game-winning jumper with four seconds remaining when he was fouled by Buddy Hield. However, the Pacers challenged and overturned the initial call to a clean block. At that point the score was tied 131-131, so Brown missed the chance of giving his team the lead with two free throws. Brown himself called for an investigation. He had put up a season-high 40 points by going 17-for-26 from the field.
Jaylen Brown said referee James Williams told him he was sure that Brown did not get hit in the head. Buddy Hield told Joe Mazzulla what everyone can see, which is that he did in fact do so.
Brown said there should be an investigation into this game.pic.twitter.com/ETHznGoJgU
— Bobby Krivitsky (@BobbyKrivitsky) January 9, 2024
The next morning, James also gave his two cents on officials overturning that foul call and defended Brown — after all, this was a familiar feeling for him. Just a little over a week ago on his birthday, James was frustrated with a call in his own game. The Lakers star hit what appeared to be a game-tying 3-pointer against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but officials ruled it a 2-pointer instead and the Lakers lost 108-106. James was visibly upset about it.
“See what I’m saying! JB clearly got hit in the back of the head,” James wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “They reviewed the play, just to reverse it and say he didn’t. MAN WHAT!! Good ass game to have an ending like that. And yall see why I be going (apeshit) out there when it happens.”
Eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter also appeared shocked at the referees’ decision on Brown. While watching live in a stream with Quentin Richardson, he screamed and laughed in disbelief. Richardson said it looked like a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial in which officials purposely made a game go into overtime. Brown himself also mentioned BWW on social media.
Despite the loss, the Celtics still have the NBA’s best record at 28-8. They’ll play again on Wednesday as they host the Timberwolves at 7 p.m. ET.