Rick Carlisle: 'I've never seen a 16-0 free throw discrepancy in the 4th quarter, ever'

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Pacers acknowledged their own shortcomings in a fourth quarter in which they were outscored by 13 points, which led to them blowing a 15-point lead and falling 112-111 at the hands of the Lakers Thursday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. But they were also dismayed by the drastic free throw differential in the game and fourth quarter in particular.

The Pacers were called for 21 fouls Thursday compared to just 10 for the Lakers. That led to the Lakers shooting 31 free throws compared to six for the Pacers. The discrepancy was most drastic in the fourth when the Lakers were fouled nine times and got 16 free throws and the Pacers were fouled three times and got zero. Los Angeles made eight, but those were obviously important in a one-point game.

"I'm not sure what to say about that," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "I've never seen a 16-0 free throw discrepancy in the fourth quarter of an NBA game ever. We were disappointed. ... The foul discrepancy and the free throw discrepancy is something I've never witnessed in 38 years in this league. Hopefully something like that is an outlier."

Pacers score:Pacers blow 15-point lead in loss to Lakers

Pacers Insider: Tyrese Haliburton's return revived Pacers, but they lost and time is running out

Carlisle said the discrepancy changed the game. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and others attacked the rim and drew fouls on the way there. The Pacers meanwhile, did not, and made just 6 of 22 field goals including 3 of 11 3-pointers in the fourth, frequently settling for jumpers when drives were not working.

"They got to the bonus three minutes in and they just put their heads down and the whistle just kept blowing," Carlisle said. "If you're an NBA team, the best way to set your defense is shoot a free throw. Then you back up and set your defense. That's the best opportunity that you have to get a defensive stop in today's game. Give them credit for using an aggressive strategy."

Carlisle tried to temper his thoughts about the officials, but suggested he did hope that the league office would take a look at it.

"It is a tough job," Carlisle said. "There was just a lot going on out there. And they'll see it in black and white in New York. Actually, they'll see it in HD."

The players weren't shy about critiquing the officiating as well.

"I think we didn't get our first foul in the fourth until the last 30 seconds," point guard Tyrese Haliburton said before pausing for effect. "What was the tweet? Sleepless nights? I don't know man. ... They must be a really good defensive team. Had one foul in a whole quarter of basketball."

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Pacers vs. Lakers: Pacers not happy with free-throw discrepancy