A CRAZY brawl during an NBA game left one player seemingly KO’d after appearing to be sucker-punched.
Orlando Magic center Moe Wagner hit the deck in scenes that evoked memories of the infamous ‘Malice at the Palace’ eighteen years ago.
Three players were ejected from Magic vs Pistons after the crazy incident in the second quarter of Wednesday’s match-up in Detroit.
The melee occurred with just seconds left on the clock before the half, with the Pistons leading 63-44.
Wagner was battling for possession of the ball with Pistons guard Killian Hayes after an errant pass into the Magic backfield.
As Wagner slowed up to avoid a backcourt violation, he bodychecked Hayes who went flying into the Detroit bench.
Within moments, players were piling in from both sides with Hamidou Diallo bumping into Wagner from behind.
Hayes then appeared to throw his forearm in a punching motion at Wagner, catching the German on the back of his head.
Footage showed Wagner slumped over players on the opposing bench, as players from both teams scuffled around him.
Wagner’s younger brother Franz – who also plays for the Magic – confirmed to Associated Press after the game that his brother was ‘fine’.
It is not known if Wagner was knocked unconscious during the fracas, but he was up and walking moments after the incident.
Wagner, Hayes and Diallo were all ejected from the game for their part in the fight.
The Pistons kept their cool for the remainder of the night and ran out 121-101 winners.
One fan wrote: “Malice at the Palace 2 could’ve been a reality.”
Another joked: “Don’t see the big deal. Nothing bad ever happened in a fight involving the Pistons at home..”
While others were impressed that the Pistons announcer immediately told the crowd to stay in their seats – even warning fans that they risked “jail” if they got involved.
A fan said: “My favorite part of this is the Pistons announcer telling fans to stay in their seats. That is a man who remembers Malice at the Palace.”
Following the contest, Pistons coach Dwane Casey wasn’t impressed that Orlando players had left their bench to “escalate” the situation.
Numerous Magic players could potentially be facing suspension for leaving the bench area.
Casey said: “I need an explanation about the decision because my understanding is you can’t leave the bench area and escalate a situation.
“That’s when really bad things can happen.”