Sunday , Dec , 26 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Detroit Pistons Team Report – December 26

=== Detroit Pistons Team Report – December 26 ===

(Sports Network) – Richard Hamilton poured in a game-high 25 points to lead
the Detroit Pistons to a 98-93 win over the Indiana Pacers on Christmas Day at
Conseco Fieldhouse.

This marked the first meeting between the teams since the disgraceful brawl
that took place at The Palace on November 19. Indiana won that fight-marred
affair, 97-82. The game had to be stopped because of the fracas and NBA
commissioner David Stern showed no mercy as he suspended Indiana’s Ron Artest
for the remainder of the season for his part in the incident. Stern also
suspended eight other players for their parts in the melee that started on the
court and eventually found its way into the seats and included the fans.

Artest’s teammate, Stephen Jackson, received a 30-game suspension, while
Indiana All-Star Jermaine O’Neal was originally scheduled to miss 25 contests.
However, O’Neal was available for this game after a federal judge upheld an
arbitrator’s ruling that reduced the suspension to only 15 games.

Detroit suffered it biggest loss with a six-game suspension to Ben Wallace,
whose two-handed shove to Artest’s face instigated the fracas.

Chauncey Billups added 20 points and Tayshaun Prince contributed 18 and eight
rebounds for the Pistons, who snapped their two-game losing streak. Rasheed
Wallace added 16 points and Antonio McDyess finished with 13 points and eight
boards in the win

Detroit made 33-of-81 field goals (41 percent) and hit on 84 percent from the
foul line (27-of-32).

The Pistons are off until Monday when they host the New Jersey Nets. In last
year’s postseason, Detroit eliminated the Nets in seven games in the Eastern
Conference semis.