Saturday , Dec , 25 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

National Basketball Association Game Capsules

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Richard Hamilton poured in a game-high 25
points to lead Detroit to a 98-93 win over Indiana 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.

Final Score: Miami 104, LA Lakers 102 (OT)

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Eddie Jones and Dwyane Wade each scored
four points in overtime to lift the Miami Heat past the Los Angeles Lakers,
104-102, in the much-anticipated Christmas Day showdown at Staples Center. The
game marked the return of Shaquille O’Neal to Los Angeles, where he played
against Kobe Bryant for the first time. O’Neal spent eight seasons with the
Lakers and captured three NBA championships alongside Bryant. However, despite
that success, the two players were unable to establish a long-lasting
relationship and O’Neal was eventually traded to the Heat in exchange for
Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, Caron Butler and a first-round draft pick. Butler
missed the game due to a one-game suspension for punching New Orleans guard
Dan Dickau on Wednesday. O’Neal fouled out with 2:15 left in the fourth
quarter, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Wade collected 29 points
and 10 assists for the Heat, who tied a franchise record with their 11th
straight win. Bryant poured in a season-high 42 points and also handed out six
assists for the Lakers, who fell to 1-3 on their current six-game homestand.
Odom contributed 24 points and 11 boards, while Chris Mihm chipped in 11
points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles.