LeBron James was ejected after bloodying Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart with a swipe to the face in the Los Angeles Lakers 121-116 victory over the Pistons on Sunday night in Detroit.
The NBA superstar was thrown out for just the second time in his career after striking Stewart in the face while the pair were battling for rebounding position.
Stewart, who was cut above the right eye, tried to confront James. That led to a scrum of players from both teams coming together with several coaches and security people also joining the fray as the Piston player repeatedly tried to get back at James. The incident occurred with 9:18 remaining in the third quarter and the Lakers trailing 79-67.
The Lakers came into the contest on a three-game losing streak and a disappointing 8-9 on the season. Anthony Davis, who scored a team-high 30 points, came to the defense of his teammate after the game in which the Lakers came from behind to win. “Everyone in the league knows that isn’t a dirty guy. As soon as he did it, he looked back and told him, ‘My bad.
I didn’t try to do it.’ I don’t know what (Stewart) was trying to do. Nobody on our team, 1-15, was having it,” he said. Stewart was initially whistled for a loose ball foul. Following a video review, James was then slapped with a flagrant foul two and sent to the locker room.
Stewart was handed two technical fouls and thrown out, and Lakers guard Russell Westbrook was called for a technical foul. James finished with 10 points and five assists. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he was relieved to see that it didn’t escalate further.—AFP