The 2021-22 NBA season has not been kind to the Indiana Pacers and Tuesday night was no different, as the Pacers lost their final home game of the season 131-122 to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Joel Embiid proved to be too much for the Pacers to handle, as the potential MVP scored 45 points and the 76ers as a team shot 23-40 (57.5%) from three-point range.
Trailing 82-59 at halftime, the Pacers stormed back in the second-half to cut the Sixers’ lead to just four points in the fourth quarter, but Philadelphia closed out the game by getting to the free-throw line and limiting Indiana’s opportunities on the offensive-end of the floor.
After the game, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle spoke about the loss on fan appreciation night and the team’s fans all year long.
“Our fans have been great all year,” Carlisle said. “Through an unusual season that changed course a couple of times, they have been consistent, they have been supportive and this has always been a great place to play if you are the home team. We thank them sincerely for being there for us and we are obviously looking forward to a better year next year.”
Carlisle also spoke in depth about his roster and specifically, veteran Lance Stephenson who was signed midseason by the team.
“Listen, he’s got a really special relationship with our fans,” The Pacers head coach said. “It is something that I have been aware of from far for quite some time and really got to experience it this year. It is great to see and it is certainly sincere and authentic both ways. It is pretty special.”
Indiana signed Stephenson to a 10-day contract on January 2 and after playing well on the floor and becoming a vocal leader for this team in the locker room, the Pacers signed him to a second 10-day contract on January 14.
Then on February 3, the Pacers announced that they had signed Lance Stephenson for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.
Whether or not he remains with the Indiana Pacers past this season is unknown, but early indications do point towards there being a mutual interest between the organization and Stephenson heading into the offseason.
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