- Detroit 96, Indiana 81
By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
AP - May 9, 10:27 pm EDT
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- No brawls or bomb scares. Just basketball.
Richard Hamilton scored 28 points and Ben Wallace had 21 points, 15 rebounds and four steals to lead Detroit to a 96-81 victory over Indiana on Monday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Pacers' two previous road games against the Pistons were marred by the infamous melee -- which started on the court, spilled into the stands and went back onto the court -- and a phone threat of a bomb in Indiana's locker room, delaying the second game at The Palace by almost 90 minutes.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night.
Just like both teams predicted, they were able to play without unusual distractions.
Indiana's Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal, suspended for 30 and 15 games, respectively, for their roles in the brawl, were booed louder than the rest of their teammates during pregame introductions and sometimes when they had the ball.
That seemed to be the only carry-over from the regular-season matchups in suburban Detroit.
Indiana scored the first basket, then fell behind and couldn't do much about it.
O'Neal had a great start, then cooled down, finishing with 22 points. Jackson didn't score until early in the second quarter and finished with 15 points. Both players signed autographs for fans before the game.
The Pacers' Ron Artest, suspended for the rest of the season for his part in the brawl, is expected to practice with his teammates when they return to Indianapolis. Reggie Miller, who plans to retire after the season, scored just six points -- nearly 10 below his playoff average -- and struggled to stay with Hamilton. Jamaal Tinsley added 13 points for the Pacers.
Detroit's Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace each scored 11 points.