November 19, 2004, is a dark day in NBA history. It was the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. With only 45 seconds left in the game, Ron Artest and Ben Wallace began a fight that turned into a full-blown brawl.
It quickly became one of the most infamous—and ugliest moments—in sports history. This is what really happened between Artest and Wallace at “the Malice at the Palace.”
The Dirty Fight Began With 45 Seconds Left In The Game
Indiana was leading 97-82 with 45.9 seconds left in the game when Ben Wallace was fouled by Ron Artest. Despite the game already being decided, Wallace then shoved Artest back by hitting him in the face with both hands.
This led the benches to clear as teammates tried to quickly get in between the two. The Pistons coach wasn’t concerned at first, since most fights calm down after a few seconds, but this one was much different.