CHICAGO (AP) -- The moment Antonio Davis dashed up into the
stands, everyone was thinking the same thing: another NBA brawl.
Yet this was different. Concerned his wife was in trouble, the
New York Knicks forward reached her in the seats but remained calm,
never took a swing at anybody and willingly walked away when
Still the scene evoked memories of last season's brawl between
fans and Pacers players in Detroit and overshadowed a thrilling
finish to a wild game.
Ben Gordon hit a jumper at the buzzer and scored 32 points
Wednesday night to give the Chicago Bulls a 106-104 overtime
victory over the Knicks.
Davis later explained why he climbed into the seats during a
timeout in overtime.
"I witnessed my wife being threatened by a man that I learned
later to be intoxicated," Davis said in a statement issued after
the game. "I saw him touch her, and I know I should not have acted
the way I did, but I would have felt terrible if I didn't react.
There was no time to call security. It happened too quickly."
Davis ascended about 10 rows of seats to reach his wife. There
was no physical confrontation after he got there, but several
people were pointing and shouting for a few moments before security
Davis, president of the NBA players' association, returned to
the bench and took his seat before being ejected with 1:04 left.
United Center security remained in the stands for a few minutes
more, where other fans appeared to be explaining what they had
seen. Guards in suits and yellow jackets then escorted a group of
people from the area.
Knicks coach Larry Brown said Davis went into the stands because
he saw his wife "falling back."
Brown was coaching the Pistons during the November 2004 brawl in
Detroit. A black eye for the NBA, the fight led to criminal charges
and lengthy suspensions for Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen
But Brown was adamant that this situation should be viewed
"Come on, that's his wife," Brown said. "That's entirely
different. I was worried about Kendra. That's why he went in the
stands, he saw her falling back.
"That thing that happened in the stands had nothing to do with
the two teams. That's a man concerned about his family."
No arrests had been made as of late Wednesday night, police
Gordon hit his winning shot after New York's Jamal Crawford tied
it at 104 with a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left. After a timeout,
Gordon caught the inbounds pass near the top of the key and hit a
jumper over Trevor Ariza.
New York's Maurice Taylor and Chicago's Chris Duhon also were
ejected after a scuffle in overtime, a few minutes before Davis
went into the stands.
"He took care of family first," Taylor said. "He's got his
wife and young kids up there."
Asked about Davis' demeanor in the locker room after the game,
Taylor said: "He was upset, but he was clear headed. Everyone
watches where their family is."
A few minutes before Davis went into the stands, Taylor ran
across the lane and knocked down Duhon, who got up and shoved
Taylor. That resulted in a double technical, and the two were soon
"He set a screen on me," Taylor said. "I got the foul. It's
basketball. Whatever he wanted to do after that was to his
Duhon called it a "cheap shot."
"I don't think he made any basketball move to get around me,"
Gordon hit 14 of 28 shots, none bigger than the last one. He
missed a shot at the end of regulation, but converted in overtime
after taking the inbounds pass from Kirk Hinrich.
Gordon, who grew up just north of New York City in Mount Vernon,
also beat the Knicks with a buzzer-beater at Madison Square Garden
last season on Martin Luther King Day.
Crawford led the Knicks with 19 points, while Quentin Richardson
added 17. Stephon Marbury sat out with a sprained left shoulder,
ending a streak of 280 consecutive games played.
Davis, who used to play for the Bulls, had 16 points and nine
rebounds, but Eddy Curry struggled in his homecoming. He finished
with 11 points and four rebounds in his first game against Chicago
and missed the final seven-plus minutes of regulation after
colliding with Gordon.
The Bulls were ahead 102-99 after Songaila hit two free throws
with 51.1 seconds left in overtime. Crawford went 2-of-3 from the
line after being fouled by Andres Nocioni to make it a one-point
game. After Nocioni converted two foul shots with 8.3 seconds left,
Crawford's 3 tied it at 104.
Artest, Jackson, O'Neal and teammates Anthony Johnson and
David Harrison were sentenced to a year of probation after pleading
no contest to misdemeanor assault charges stemming from the fight
at The Palace of Auburn Hills. They also were ordered to perform
community service and pay fines. ... Marbury injured his shoulder
during the fourth quarter of Monday's loss to Minnesota, and is
unsure when he'll return.