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Pacers' Artest breaks television camera after loss

1/4/2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- On a night when Latrell Sprewell had the
breakout game his coach had been waiting for, Ron Artest took out
his frustration by grabbing a $100,000 television camera and
smashing it to pieces.

Artest's post-game tantrum deflected some of the attention from
the star of the game, Sprewell, who had 25 points with seven
assists, five rebounds and three steals Friday night to lead New
York to a come-from-behind 98-96 victory over Indiana.

"Tough loss, I guess," said MSG Network cameraman Mike Miner,
who was filming Artest in the tunnel leading from the court when he
stormed off. After grabbing a television monitor and throwing it,
Artest approached Miner and yanked the high-definition camera away
from him.

"He lifted it over his shoulder and smashed it to the ground,"
Miner said. "I was a little rattled by the whole thing, but I'm
OK."

Officials with the cable network said the camera's lens alone
was worth about $60,000.

Artest stormed out of the arena just a few minutes later and did
not comment. Before the game, he said he was so focused on winning
the game that he turned down all ticket requests from friends and
family in his native New York.

"Obviously, Ron is an emotional guy and hopefully he'll learn
from it," teammate Jermaine O'Neal said. "I'm pretty sure the
bill will help him learn from his mistake."

Sprewell, coming off a three-point performance in a victory over
Toronto, played one of his best all-around games of the season to
help the Knicks match their longest winning streak of the season --
three games.

New York came back from two 17-point deficits and outscored
Indiana 30-17 in the fourth quarter to snap the Pacers' four-game
winning streak.

Howard Eisley scored 17 points and Charlie Ward had a key steal
and tip-in in the final minute for the Knicks.

O'Neal had 24 points and Brad Miller added 20 for the Pacers.

New York trailed 79-68 entering the fourth quarter, but Sprewell
sparked them on a 17-4 run to start the quarter. His 15-footer with
6:26 remaining gave the Knicks their first lead since the opening
minute of the game.

"Every game I'm waiting for the breakout game," coach Don
Chaney said of Sprewell, who entered the game averaging a
career-low 15.2 points on 39.7 shooting.

Sprewell finished 9-for-23 from the field and was the only
Knicks starter who did not commit a turnover.

"I looked at Spree and for the first time he had life in him,"
Chaney said. "He had that energy that was missing, that
explosiveness."

O'Neal made two free throws with 1:43 left to give Indiana a
92-91 lead before Michael Doleac hit a jumper with 1:22 remaining.
Miller had a tip-in with one minute left to give the Pacers their
final lead.

After Shandon Anderson missed inside, Ward came up with the
game-deciding play. Jamaal Tinsley drove to the basket and threw an
ill-advised blind pass behind him toward the foul line, and Ward
picked it off. He drove downcourt and missed a layup, but hung
around the basket and tipped the ball in after Anderson missed a
tip attempt.

Reggie Miller, Artest and O'Neal missed shots on Indiana's next
possession before Sprewell grabbed his final rebound. He was fouled
and made both shots for a 97-94 lead.

New York fouled Brad Miller on the ensuing inbounds pass to
prevent the Pacers from trying a 3-pointer, and he made both with
4.6 seconds left. Kurt Thomas missed one of two from the line with
4.0 seconds left, giving Indiana a chance to go for the win or the
tie.

With no timeouts remaining, the Pacers could only manage to get
the ball to the wrong Miller -- Brad -- for a buzzer-beating
3-pointer that missed.

Game notes
Indiana lost for the first time in 18 games when taking a
lead into the fourth quarter. ... Chaney said he was considering
moving Doleac into the starting lineup. Coming off two strong
games, Doleac finished with 12 points and five rebounds in 32
minutes. ... Ward played in his 500th game. ... Tinsley had seven
turnovers, eight assists and seven rebounds. ... Allan Houston has
made 37 consecutive free throws, four shy of the franchise record
set last season by Sprewell.

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