Pacers' Stephenson, Turner deny pre-playoffs fight
Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson are denying a Yahoo Sports report that they got into a fistfight during practice last week before the playoffs.
Yahoo reported that two teammates dragged Turner off the court after pulling him from a physical altercation with Stephenson.
Both Turner and Stephenson say that's not the way it happened.
"If there were punches thrown, I think you'd see a reaction, some type of bruise, but there wasn't," said Turner.
Turner says it was all blown out of proportion.
"I think the biggest thing, once again, I think Lance is a good guy. Sometimes he gets the [brunt] of a lot of that stuff. I think some people in some circumstances try to make something out of nothing and that says a lot about our character. I don't want people running around thinking I did something crazy or Lance did something crazy 'cause it wasn't along those lines," said Turner.
Stephenson said what happened was related to practice, and not any part of what some have speculated is a long-simmering feud.
"Being competitive players, we got a little scuffle but it was just practice-related. No blows. Just playing hard. Getting ready for the playoffs. I got no problem with Evan. Just getting each other ready for the playoffs, going hard at each other. That's what competitors do. That's how the team gets better. There's no hard feelings with us. We're good as a unit and we're good in the locker room," he said.
Stephenson added, "We never had any problems. I like him. Since when he first came into the draft, rookie transition, he's a good guy. I have no problem with him."
Outlining his role, Stephenson says it's more about getting the team's momentum up.
"I just try to get our confidence built up and say, 'hey, let's go,' I get into other guys...being competitive and getting each other ready for the playoffs and the physical part of the game, so I just try to be that guy sometimes," said Stephenson.
He denied that the scuffle had anything to do with the Pacers' Game 1 loss.
"We played bad defensively. We made some changes and now we got the win, we gotta keep doing the changes and we'll be all right," he said. "We feel good as a unit. We're just gonna try to get a win every game."
Now the team is focused on Game 3.
"We can't get complacent. This team is playing at a really high level, a serious threat to us and we can't let our guard down. We gotta have the same desperation we played with last night going into Game 3," said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. "That's my point to our guys today. They gotta maintain it. You can't feel good - win a game and everything's okay. You gotta go on and win Game 3."