As Pacers point guard George Hill was racing to the basket to try to finish a fast-break layup, Pierce clotheslined Hill, wrapping his left arm around Hill’s neck.
Pacers guard Lance Stephenson did not appreciate Pierce’s hard foul, but things did not escalate further.
The referees reviewed the play before ultimately concluding that it was a flagrant 2, which leads to an automatic ejection. Pierce threw his headband into the crowd as he headed into the tunnel upon hearing his fate.
Pierce (0-for-7) was held scoreless, the first time that’s happened since the 16th professional game of his 16-year career, on March 9, 1999. Pierce, now 36, was 21 years and 147 days old at the time.
He came in averaging 25.5 points on 81 percent shooting in his previous two games.
"No, that's part of the game," Hill said, when asked if he thought the foul was a cheap shot. "Hard fouls are part of the game. I've been in that position a lot, my whole life. It's fine. Get back up and don't let it faze me."
Pierce left without talking to the media. He could face a fine or suspension from the league office as a result of his actions.