Although the Indiana Pacers were able to hold off Miami Heat 84-83 in a key Eastern Conference showdown on Wednesday night, a key mistake by guard Lance Stephenson nearly cost them the game.
Stephenson was given a technical foul after the officials determined he taunted Heat guard Dwyane Wade with just over five minutes to play. It was his second technical foul of the game, so Stephenson was ejected.
Stephenson clearly felt bad afterwards, according to Michael Pointer of The Indianapolis Star.
“I definitely can’t do things that cost us games and let my teammates down,” Stephenson said. “I’m a big factor to the team. Getting kicked out of the game last night was my fault and not being a pro.”
Stephenson’s family lives in Indianapolis and he said he spent four hours talking to his father about it afterward.
“My Dad said, ‘You can’t make that happen,’ ” Stephenson said.
Pacers’ head coach Frank Vogel told reporters he hoped it was a “turning point” for Stephenson.
Stephenson is averaging 14.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game this season.