LeBron James had to head to the locker room early on the Lakers’ visit to Detroit. The forward was sent off for the second time in his career after punching Isaiah Stewart in the face as they both tried to gain position to fight a possible rebound on a free throw. In this dispute, the Lakers violently removed his arm and hit the power forward’s face, who was dealt a hard blow that made him bleed noticeably.
Stewart, in fact, had to be quickly separated, as he tried to face LeBron seeking explanations and confrontation, which generated an altercation on the court that forced the game to stop for several minutes and to calm the players of both squads. Isaiah, however, far from relaxing, seemed to be increasingly furious, and managed to get away on several occasions from the members of the Pistons that surrounded him to get back to the area where the Lakers were, although luckily he could finally be surrounded again and taken to changing rooms to be cared for. This reaction supposed him two technical fouls, which also meant his expulsion.
“Everybody in the league knows that LeBron is not a dirty player,” said Anthony Davis after the game. “As soon as it happened, she turned to him and said, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t want to do it.’ I don’t know what Stewart was trying to provoke next, but I know that none of my teammates, first to last, were going to get involved. Everyone has done a great job keeping things down. Nobody wants a repeat of 17 years ago, “he concluded, referring to the fight between Pistons and Pacers at Auburn Hills.
James, for his part, did not offer statements to the media. Both teams will meet again next Sunday at Staples, hopefully with calmer spirits and no desire to repeat what was seen this morning.
Comeback without the King
The action took place early in the third quarter, when the Lakers fell 78-66. Despite the expulsion of LeBron, the Angelenos finally managed to turn the game around at the hands of Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, who with 30 and 26 points respectively saved a difficult ballot for the Angelenos. The power forward shone in many ways, finishing with 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks and 4 steals, while the point guard was on the verge of a new triple-double by distributing 10 assists and adding 9 sacks.
The Pistons went on to win by as many as 17 at the end of the third quarter, but were unable to contain a great shutdown from the Californians and added their 12th loss in 16 games. The Michigan team was led by Jerami Grant, who shone with 36 points, while Cade Cunningham signed the first triple-double of his career by scoring 13 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and distributing 10 assists, also becoming the first player in the draft. 2021 to achieve that mark.
(Cover photo: Nic Antaya / Getty Images)