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USATSI

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown said a controversial overturned call in the final seconds of his team's 133-131 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night "doesn't make any sense" and "should be investigated" by the NBA. With time winding down in the fourth quarter, and the scored tied at 131-131, the Celtics, who were playing without Jayson Tatum, put the ball in Brown's hands and let him go to work. 

He drove baseline and tried to pull up for a a jumper, but was fouled by Buddy Hield -- at least according to the initial call on the floor. That would have given him two potential go-ahead free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining in the contest. Take a look:

The Pacers challenged, however, and after a review, the call was overturned to a clean block. And because the Pacers had imminent possession, they were awarded the ball. On the ensuing play, Bennedict Mathurn was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made two of his three attempts at the line to give the Pacers the win. 

Everyone on the Celtics' side was furious at how the game ended, both in real time and after the fact. Brown appeared to mouth "that's bullshit," on the court, while Celtics announcer Brian Scalabrine lost his mind on the broadcast. Replays show that while Hield did hit the ball, he also hit Brown in the back of the head. 

The explanation given by crew chief James Williams at the time was "after review, the backside defender, Buddy Hield, hits the ball, therefore the call on the floor has been overturned." 

There was no pool report conducted after the game, but Brown, who finished with a season-high 40 points, didn't need one. Here are his extended thoughts on the situation:

"I think he obviously hit me in the head. I think they definitely need to do some investigation, that's all I'm going to say. I think that was an obvious one. I've never heard of head, part of the ball. It doesn't make any sense to me.

"I went up and asked like, 'Did I get hit in the head?' [The official] looks me straight in the face and he says, 'No, you didn't get hit in the head.' I'm like, 'OK.' Then you come down on the other end, that cost our team the game. Then you expect us not to be frustrated. We're trying to build good habits. We're trying to win as many games as possible, and we just dropped one because of that.

"I feel like we have the right to be upset. The league should understand. Of course, we're going to say something about it after the game. So I don't think there should be any fines. But I definitely think that one should be investigated."

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla didn't go as far as Brown, but he noted that even the Pacers knew the call was wrong

"I'm not bothered," Mazzulla said after the loss. "Just, Buddy Hield told me that he fouled [Jaylen Brown]."

Hield, for his part, admitted as much, though he said it's ultimately up to the refs to make the call. 

"I mean, I told Joe what I told Joe," Hield explained. "But they have three refs out there and they had the replay center, and that's what replay is for, I guess. I was thinking I might have hit [Brown] a little bit, but they have three refs out there and they have cameras and they slow down the angles of it. I felt like it was not excessive contact. I know I touched the ball, I maybe nicked Brown in the head a little bit. I'm not too sure."

Lakers superstar LeBron James chimed in on the call Tuesday morning, saying Brown "clearly got hit in the back of the head."

Despite the loss, the Celtics, now 28-8, still have the best record in the league. As for the Pacers, who improved to 21-15, they have bigger things to worry about than the call or the result. Tyrese Haliburton injured his hamstring against the Celtics and is expected to miss at least two weeks.