|New York @ Chicago|
|104 - 106|
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 security arrived.
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 arrived.
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 Jackson .
But Brown was adamant that this situation should be viewed differently.
"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 said.
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 ejected.
"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 judgment."
Duhon called it a "cheap shot."
"I don't think he made any basketball move to get around me," he said.
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.
Hinrich finished with 18 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and three steals, while Andres Nocioni and Darius Songaila scored 14 apiece.
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.