NBA, Lakers vs Pistons: Lakers forward LeBron James was called for a flagrant foul 2 for his elbow that bloodied the right eye of Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart during the third quarter and was ejected from the game before Los Angeles rallied from 17 points down for a stirring 121-116 win over Detroit on Sunday night.
Stewart was ejected for “multiple unsportsmanlike acts during the altercation,” NBA referee crew chief Scott Foster said after the game.
Russell Westbrook was given a technical foul for his involvement in the wild scene that took place with 9 minutes and 18 seconds left in the third and the Lakers down 78-66.
With James in the locker room, Anthony Davis became a force for the Lakers with 30 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, five blocked shots, and four steals, carrying a big load to help them break a three-game losing streak. He had a big steal late in the game and made two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to seal the victory, which evened the Lakers record at 9-9. He blocked Cade Cunningham twice in one play during the clutch.
His 12 points on five-for-five shooting, four rebounds, three assists, and three blocks in the fourth quarter helped the Lakers ease the pain of losing James.
Westbrook was also a force for the Lakers, just missing a triple-double with 26 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds. In the fourth quarter, he had 15 points, five rebounds, six assists, and a resounding dunk over Hamidou Diallo.
Stewart repeatedly went after James and was unwilling to leave the court while doing all he could to get the Lakers forward. Eventually, Stewart was restrained and pulled off the court by Detroit personnel.
Even then, the Lakers looked and pointed at the tunnel near their bench to make sure Stewart wasn’t coming back to try to get to James.
The referees walked toward the tunnel to make sure the situation was under control. It took about 10 minutes for things to be sorted out and for play to resume.
Things began to unravel when Jerami Grant was shooting two free throws and James and Stewart were side by side along the lane. James swung his left elbow and hit Stewart in the right eye.
James reached out for a moment to seemingly apologize, but Stewart already was irate at what happened. He rushed three different times toward James.
The Lakers will meet the Pistons at Staples Center next Sunday.