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Pacers say practice got physical before Game 1

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm •  Published: April 23, 2014
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner were unified on three points Wednesday.

Yes, they scrapped during a practice before Game 1 of their first-round series against Atlanta. No, they didn't throw any punches. And, for now, everything seems to be OK.

Pacers players and coaches all described the physical confrontation between Stephenson and Turner through their own prisms, but nobody — including Stephenson and Turner — called it a fight.

"We got in a little scuffle, but it was just practice related," Stephenson said. "No blows, just hard playing and getting ready for the playoffs. I mean I've got no problem with him."

The descriptions varied about what happened in the lead up to the first game against Atlanta.

While Stephenson called it a "scuffle," Turner and Vogel both said the players got "tangled up." Paul George explained it as two guys "bumping heads." Yahoo! Sports, which first reported the encounter, said fists were involved.

Whatever happened, Turner had two visibly large scratch marks on the side of his neck when he entered Saturday night's game, which the Pacers lost.

But the only thing that seemed to matter to the Pacers on Wednesday was getting back to work. They tied the series with a Game 2 win Tuesday night, then headed to Atlanta following practice.

"Every team goes through that," All-Star center Roy Hibbert said. "Sometimes, you've got to get things off your chest instead of letting things fester."

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