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Former brawlers standing tall

Indiana's Stephen Jackson and Detroit's Ben Wallace took a fall after the brawl between the Pacers and Pistons on Nov. 19, 2004, in Auburn Hills.

Jackson was suspended for 30 games and Wallace sat for six after Jackson and Sacramento's Ron Artest, then a Pacer, charged the crowd. The rivalry renews Thursday at the Palace.

Jackson and Wallace have gone head-to-head nine times since returning from their suspensions, including last season's six-game Detroit victory in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Jackson has averaged 13.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.4 assists while shooting just 32.3 percent from the field and 81.8 from the foul line. Wallace is averaging 8.9 points, 13 rebounds, 2.1 blocked shots and 1.8 steals while shooting 44.1 percent from the floor and 40.9 from the charity stripe.

The Pistons have a 5-4 edge in the post-brawl series but the Pacers took the first meeting of this season, 93-85, as Jackson outscored Wallace, 20-0.


Tough tests for Bosh

Third-year forward Chris Bosh and his Toronto Raptors face two outstanding forwards from the West on the road this week. Toronto will see Pau Gasol's Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday and Dirk Nowitzki's Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

In four previous matchups, Gasol and the Grizzlies (4-0) have dominated. Gasol averages 23.2 points, nine rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 blocks and shoots 61.8 percent from the field. That compares with 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks and a 38.6 field-goal percentage for Bosh.

The Mavs have won three of the four Bosh-Nowitzki matchups. Nowitzki averages 25 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and shoots 47.6 percent from the floor and 93.8 from the foul line. Bosh gets 18.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 blocks, on 50 percent floor shooting and 89.1 foul shooting.

Toronto lost in the Air Canada Centre to both the Grizzlies (92-66 on Nov. 30) and Mavs (93-91 on Nov. 28) this season.


Rookie rivalries

The first and second overall picks of last summer's draft get together for the second time when the Milwaukee Bucks travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Saturday.

Center Andrew Bogut, the No. 1 selection, and the Bucks beat forward Marvin Williams, the No. 2 pick, and his Hawks, 118-102, on Jan. 20. Bogut went 2 of 4 from the floor and 1 of 2 at the free-throw line in 26 minutes with 13 rebounds and a steal while Williams went 4 of 8 from the field and 1 of 2 from the line in 29 minutes with five points and a block.

Third pick Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz and fourth pick Chris Paul of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, the first two point guards selected, get together for the first time as pros Saturday in Salt Lake City.

They met last on Dec. 1, 2004, in Champaign, Ill., in the Atlantic Coast Conference/Big Ten Challenge. Both Williams-led Illinois and Paul-led Wake Forest entered the game undefeated and the Illini won, 91-73.

Gray had 11 points, three rebounds and two assists; Williams eight points, 11 assists and five rebounds.


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