Lance Stephenson made his triumphant return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night as the Indiana Pacers bested the Toronto Raptors 108-90 to reclaim sole possession of the Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed.
However, Stephenson angered several Raptors plays when he waltzed into the lane and converted a layup instead of letting time expire at the end of the fourth quarter:
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Chief among the upset Toronto players was swingman PJ Tucker, who did not shy away from hitting Stephenson with some pointed words after the game.
"Tasteless," Tucker said, per Vigilant Sports' Scott Agness. "Classless. There's nowhere in the league for that.
"Nobody care about his reputation. I could care less. I don’t even know who he is. He’s happy he just got back in the league."
Pacers forward Paul George also chimed in on the matter during a postgame discussion with Fox Sports Indiana and acknowledged Stephenson—who finished with 12 points and three assists—may have taken things a bit too far.
"Lance knows better," he said. "That's like a cardinal rule to not lay the ball up when you up. But he did it; it's the reason why Lance is Lance. We appreciate him, man. Everything he does for this organization. He comes out here and he works his butt off."
As it turns out, it didn't take Stephenson long to apologize for his actions.
"I was caught in the moment," he said, per the team's Twitter account. "I just want to say sorry to them. I didn't mean no harm. The crowd was chanting me on, and I just wanted to do it for the fans."