NEW YORK (Ticker) -- It wasn't a pretty picture for Ron Artest and the Indiana Pacers.
Artest destroyed a television monitor and a $100,000 camera after the Pacers blew a 17-point second-half lead in a 98-96 loss to the New York Knicks, who have won a season-high three straight games.
A native of Queensbridge, New York and an alumnus of St. John's, Artest had a difficult game. He was hampered by foul trouble and made just 2-of-11 shots, scoring nine points.
One of the best defenders in the NBA, Artest also had trouble guarding Latrell Sprewell, who broke out of a slump to score 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and lead New York's comeback.
When a rushed 3-pointer by Pacers center Brad Miller missed the mark, Artest stormed off the court.
According to a Knicks employee in the corridor at the end of the game, Artest picked up a small TV monitor and threw it toward the opposite wall. He then lifted a high-definition video camera off MSG Network cameraman Michael Miner's shoulder and slammed it to the floor, breaking it into six pieces.
"He lifted it over his head and smashed it to the ground," said Miner, who explained that the camera has a special lens that costs $60,000. "I was a little rattled by the whole thing, but I'm OK."
Artest wasn't. Seconds after Pacers coach Isiah Thomas emerged from the locker room to meet the media, Artest pushed his way past the crowd and left the building without talking to reporters.
Before the game, Artest said he did not give out any tickets to family and friends because he was more concerned with winning. Perhaps he is fortunate that no one close to him was on hand to witness his behavior, which is certain to draw a hefty fine from the league.
"We've got a lot of guys who came home to play and they wanted to play well and do well," said Thomas, who also has New York-area products Jamaal Tinsley and Al Harrington on his roster. "It didn't happen for them."
"It was a bad loss for us, knowing we were up like that," said Tinsley, who had 10 points and eight assists but committed seven turnovers, including a crucial one in the final minute.
In the fourth quarter, the Pacers made just 4-of-18 shots and 7-of-12 free throws while committing six turnovers. They had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Howard Eisley scored 17 points and Michael Doleac added 12 off the bench for the Knicks, who also won three in a row from November 27-December 2.
"Obviously, I want to play well, but it doesn't always work out the way you want to," said Sprewell, who made 9-of-23 shots. "The thing you have to do is stay confident and try to do other things to help the team win."
A pull-up jumper by Sprewell gave the Knicks their first lead since the opening minutes at 85-83 with 6:29 to play. There were eight lead changes thereafter as the teams went back and forth on virtually every possession.
"I looked at Spree and for the first time he had life in him," Knicks coach Don Chaney said. "He had that energy that was missing - that explosiveness. If he's going to be matched up against Artest, I would take Spree any day with the ball. Not to discount the fact how good Artest is, but I think Spree can make things happen 1-on-1 against a guy like that."
A missed 3-pointer by long-time Knicks villain Reggie Miller was put home by Brad Miller, giving Indiana a 94-93 edge with a minute to go. On the next possession, Shandon Anderson missed a short bank shot, and the Pacers appeared in control.
But Tinsley's lazy hook pass was stolen by Charlie Ward, whose driving layup was off the mark. Anderson missed two follow attempts before Ward hustled back into the play from out of bounds and tipped it in to give the Knicks the lead for good with 20 seconds left.
"I think we got away from running our offense," Tinsley said. "Everyone was doing their own thing."
Reggie Miller missed another 3-pointer, and Artest and Jermaine O'Neal missed follow shots before Sprewell rebounded and was fouled with 5.6 seconds remaining. His two free throws gave New York a three-point cushion.
On the ensuing inbounds play, the Pacers could not find Reggie Miller, the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers. Brad Miller took the inbounds pass and was fouled before he could get off a shot. He made both free throws, and Kurt Thomas split a pair at the other end to set up the finish.
"It sure does feel good to come from behind like that and beat a quality team," Sprewell said. "It wasn't easy."
Othella Harrington had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who shot just 40 percent (36-of-89) and were outrebounded, 47-44. They won despite a poor game from leading scorer Allan Houston, who had just 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting.
O'Neal had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Brad Miller added 20 and 12 for the Pacers, who shot 46 percent (35-of-76). Reggie Miller scored 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting.
In the first half, Indiana overpowered New York with its size advantage. O'Neal scored 16 points and Miller added 12 as the Pacers shot nearly 60 percent and built a 58-41 halftime bulge.
Indiana still held a 77-60 advantage on a jumper by Ron Mercer with 2:17 left in the third quarter. But the Pacers got away from what was working for them, and the Knicks got back in the game.
"We got out of character in terms of who we are as a team and what we're trying to do," Thomas said.
Two 3-pointers by Eisley helped cut the deficit to 79-68 entering the final period. He sank another to open the fourth quarter before Sprewell began to work over Artest.
"You get a big lead and you think that a team is going to lay down for you," O'Neal said. "Those guys played with a lot of pride and they got rolling. The crowd got into the game and they made it tough for us. They ended up taking it from us at the end of the game."