AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- The Indiana Pacers posted a 94-81 victory over the Detroit Pistons in a game
that was delayed at the start by
almost 90 minutes due to a false security alarm.
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Approximately 40 minutes prior to the 8 p.m. EST start, two
calls were placed to The Palace of Auburn Hills stating that
there was a bomb in the Pacers' locker room. Although Auburn
Hills police had swept the locker room in the morning and again
late in the afternoon, the Pacers were evacuated to the team bus
so the room could be searched again.
According to Pacers coach Rick Carlisle
, it was the second
threat the caller had phoned in Friday.
"You get two bomb threats within a couple of hours and the
second one is as specific as to say that someone who worked in
the building had placed it there," Carlisle said. "After what
we've been through earlier in the year, I could certainly
understand their concerns about safety. As well-staffed as The
Palace is, when you get something as detailed as the description
as who may have put the bomb where, you've got to take note of
After it was determined that there was no bomb in the locker
room -- or anywhere else in the building -- Indiana players were
told they could return. Several Pacers reportedly did not want
to play the game, but league officials told the them that if
they did not play, the team would forfeit the contest.
"It was very difficult when you have your lives threatened,"
Pacers guard Reggie Miller
said. "We came here to do a job and
that was to play a basketball game. Then the unexpected news
almost 45 minutes before tip-off was very disturbing. Usually
they keep these things from you but they tried to make it a
point when the caller called back. Obviously, the bottom line,
this is just a game. It was split down the middle on who wanted
to play and who didn't want to play."
"Until you find out if it is a prank call, you have to be
looking out for your own safety," Detroit center Ben Wallace
said. "It is hard to say what you would do until you've been in
Both Detroit assistant coach Gar Heard and forward Tayshaun Prince
thought the delay may have hurt the home team more than
"It's hard to sit in the locker room and kill time," Heard said.
"I don't think that had a lot to do with the game, but it
definitely didn't help us. We were ready to come out on the
court and then we had to gear back down. It's hard to start
that process over, and we just weren't ready."
"To be honest, I was hoping the game would get changed to
another day, because I was getting tired," Prince said. "I was
falling asleep back here (in the locker room)."
The game itself went off without incident as the Pacers took the
lead with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter and
never were headed thereafter.
scored 15 points and Miller added 14 for the
Pacers, who had five players in double figures and eight players
who scored at least eight points.
Detroit got as close as 64-61 on a jumper by Chauncey Billups
who scored 23 points, with nine seconds left in the third
quarter. But Indiana responded with a 21-5 burst over the next
6 1/2 minutes to put away the game.
"They stuck together and made a team decision to play the game,
and went out and played one of the best games we played all
year," Carlisle said.
The Pistons have lost their last three games, all without
leading scorer Richard Hamilton
, who sat out again because of a
sprained left ankle.
"We have to find some movement until Rip (Hamilton) comes back,"
Heard said. "Teams are zoning it up, and we need to have
another guy out there who can score."
Owner of the third-best home record in the league (25-8),
Detroit had its 12-game winning streak at The Palace halted as
Indiana won here for the second time this season.