SOMETHING happened between the Pacers' Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson at practice last Friday. Exactly what is under dispute.

Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported the two engaged in a fistfight and had to be pried apart the day before Game 1 of the Pacers' first-round playoff series against he Hawks.

Not so, the players said yesterday.

"Honestly, the person who wrote the article asked me if the fight happened, I told him, 'No, it wasn't [a fight],' and he just went on and wrote that there were punches thrown and all this, and it wasn't," Turner, who played three-plus seasons with the Sixers, told the Indianapolis Star. "It was just a tangle-up and that was it."

Stephenson backed his teammate.

"We're competitive players," Stephenson said. "We got [into] a little scuffle but it was just practice-related. No blows, just playing hard and getting ready for the playoffs. I mean, I've got no problem with him."

An attempt to contact Wojnarowski was unsuccessful.

JoePa-thetic statue

Two years ago, a statue of Joe Paterno was removed from Penn State's campus. It was a decision made after a report that alleged Paterno was among university adminstrators who concealed allegations of child sexual abuse against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Yesterday, it was announced a new statue will be installed off-campus, outside the Tavern Restaurant in downtown State College.

A group of alums has commissioned Philly sculptor Zenos Frudakis to make the statue, which will depict Paterno sitting on a bench while reading a copy of Virgil's "Aeneid.''

That prompted someone writing under the name "Scott Tibbles" to make the following comment on ESPN.com:

"They should have 3 statues, all right next to each other . . . One of him covering his eyes, the other covering his ears, and the last one covering his mouth."