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Charlie Villanueva loses it - what set him off?

Cleveland Cavaliers' Ryan Hollins, second from left, and Detroit Pistons' Charlie Villanueva scuffle as, from left, Pistons' Rodney Stuckey, Cavaliers' J.J. Hickson (21) and Pistons' Greg Monroe (10) try to separate them in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, April 11, 2011, in Auburn Hills, Mich. AP Photo/Duane Burleson

In November, Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva and Celtics star Kevin Garnett had a brief on-court altercation that led to each player getting a technical foul.

Later, Villanueva claimed his anger stemmed from Garnett calling him a "cancer patient"(Villanueva suffers from a skin disease that would slowly render him hairless).

So after Monday night's decidedly more testy skirmish between Villanueva and the Cavaliers center Ryan Hollins, one has to wonder what was said to enrage the Pistons forward this time.

Villanueva went ballistic after he and Hollins collided near the free throw line and traded face grabs.

"You've got to be careful with the quiet ones, right?" Villanueva said after the game. "At the end of the day, that's something that happened on the court. It should stay on the court. I overreacted. He said some things that kind of got me upset."

Villanueva said Hollins had thrown an elbow before the two squared off with 5:47 left in the fourth quarter. After they were separated, Villanueva came running from the Detroit bench area while teammate Rodney Stuckey, a security officer and an assistant coach tried to restrain him. He ended up running down the wrong tunnel, and Hollins stayed on court until Villanueva left.

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer cites a Pistons reporter who says Villanueva was saying he was "going to kill that dude (Hollins)." On his way out, Villanueva motioned for Hollins to meet him in the back.

Villanueva later came out of the Pistons' locker room and sprinted toward Cleveland's locker room. He was stopped by police on a loading dock. Hollins was taken immediately to the team bus.

There's no telling what really set off Villanueva - the elbow, the frustrating season or the trash talk. The player refused to reveal what Hollins said to set him off - only that it was "real smart."

"He said something real smart so I got angry in the heat of the moment, that's about it," he said.

It's interesting that Villanueva chose to broadcast the "cancer patient" comment to the world via Twitter but he was tight-lipped about last night's verbal jarring.

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