The Indiana Pacers fell 133-128 in overtime to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night.

While the Pacers shot 53.5 percent to the Celtics' 47.5 percent, the difference was at the foul line. Boston shot 24-30 from the free throw line compared to Indiana's 9-10.

Indiana fans noticed the disparity.

WTFUSA – “Refs to the Celtics’ rescue and the youthful inexperience of the Pacers led to their demise tonight. The egregious lopsided free throw attempts for each team is worthy of an investigation. Add the mistakes in the end and it sealed their fate. Too much to overcome”

DonaldStark92 – “Celtics gotta thank the refs for gifting them 11 free throws in the 3rd quarter free throw disparity 16 celtics 2 pacers”

Nobody – “Can’t forget to point out the foul spread. Refs sucking off the Celtics Celtics: 15 fouls/ 28 FT Pacers: 22 fouls/ 8 FT +20 free throw spread?! In the ECF?! Wtf are we doing?!”

AD – “Bruh it's crazy the Celtics got 21 total free throw attempts and the Pacers got 3”

John Timm – “The free throw disparity in this Celtics/Pacers game is absolutely ridiculous! 26 for the Celtics 6 for the Pacers…give me a break…the NBA should be embarrassed…but they won’t be, because the result is exactly what they want”

Nick Angel – “The free throw disparity in the @celtics vs @Pacers game is actually insane”

StatMuse – “Free throw attempts tonight: 30 — Celtics 10 — Pacers”

Hoops – “Celtics attempted 20 more free throws than Pacers”

Ryan football team – “Pacers didn’t miss a free throw that quarter!! They didn’t attempt one, while the Celtics shot 13, but they didn’t miss one!!”

The massive free throw gap basically encapsulates how each team has been impacted by the charity stripe in the 2024 postseason.
“The Celtics have the highest free throw differential (+93) this playoffs,” StatMuse posted. “The Pacers have the lowest free throw differential (-100) this playoffs.”

Pacers look to bounce back after dropping Game 1 to Celtics

Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith (23) makes his fifth foul against Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) in over-time during game one of the eastern conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden.
© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrese Haliburton had 25 points and 10 assists for the Pacers, who knocked down 13 3-pointers and scored 56 points in the paint against the Celtics, but it wasn't enough to overcome the free throw disparity and a pair of turnovers in the final 30 seconds of regulation with Indiana up three. Indiana ended up with 21 turnovers on the night.

Pascal Siakam added 24 points and 12 rebounds. Myles Turner finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Pacers.

The age-old debate when up by three without possession of the basketball is whether or not it's smart to foul to prevent a three-point attempt from the opposition. Rick Carlisle could have done this and trusted in the Pacers' ability to make free throws. Instead, they let the play unfold yet again, leading to a backbreaking, game-tying Jaylen Brown triple that eventually led to the Celtics' victory.

Jayson Tatum scored 36 points for the Celtics, including 10 in overtime after Brown's tying 3-pointer with 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

Game 2 will be in Boston on Thursday night.