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High-Profile Games Highlight NBA Christmas Day Action

Two high-profile National Basketball Association games highlighted action on Christmas Day with the Detroit Pistons defeating Indiana, 98-93, and the Miami Heat beating the LA Lakers, 104-102, in overtime.

In Indianapolis, the return of Jermaine O'Neal was not enough to lead the Pacers to a win over the reigning champion Pistons. Rasheed Wallace sank a three-point basket with 90 seconds left in the game to put the Pistons ahead to stay.

Reggie Miller led Indiana with 24 points while Jermaine O'Neal added 21. O'Neal was allowed to play in the game because a court upheld an arbitrator's decision to reduce his suspension for fighting in a melee that erupted after the Pacers' game against Detroit last month.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the first game between former teammates Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat ended with Bryant unable to lead his team to a win.

O'Neal fouled out while trying to stop Bryant in the waning moments of regulation. The game went to overtime and Miami was able to pull out the victory despite Bryant's season-high 42 points. Bryant missed what would have been the winning basket, but it clanged off the rim.