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First Meeting at Palace for Pistons, Pacers Since Brawl

Friday, March 25, 2005; Page D03

It'll be just another game, the Pistons and Pacers insist, when they play tonight.

The last time they met at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich. -- on Nov. 18 -- one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history broke out.

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"After all the consequences that were paid by players and fans, I don't expect to see anybody acting up," Detroit's Antonio McDyess said.

The Pacers have been reeling since the melee. The defending NBA champion Pistons suffered a setback from it, but have since bounced back to be one of the top teams in the league.

Indiana's Ron Artest was suspended by Commissioner David Stern for the season for his role in the fracas, which started on the court before spilling into the crowd and back onto the court. Indiana's Stephen Jackson was suspended for 30 games and Jermaine O'Neal for 15, and his comeback was derailed by a shoulder injury expected to keep him out for the rest of the regular season.

Detroit's Ben Wallace was suspended for six games, and one of his brothers was among the spectators charged with playing a part in the brawl. A total of five Pacers and eight fans have been charged.

INJURIES: The Nuggets played without C Marcus Camby and F Kenyon Martin against the Lakers last night because of injuries. Camby sprained his right ankle in the third quarter against Washington on Tuesday and didn't return. Martin suffered a bruised chest against the Wizards in the second half.

-- From News Services


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