Both players were fighting for position on a free throw when the Pistons player dislodged LeBron with one arm and LeBron reacted by slapping him
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Lebron James, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, was sent off this Sunday for the second time in his career following a fierce altercation with Detroit Pistons pvot Isaiah Stewart, also retired from the game.
With a great comeback in the fourth quarter, the Lakers took the 121-116 victory at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, where scenes of tension were experienced in one of the biggest fights of this season in the NBA.
Nine minutes from the end of the third quarter, LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart were fighting for position on a free throw when the Pistons player moved LeBron with one arm and LeBron reacted by letting go. a hard slap in the face.
The blow unleashed the fury of the young Pistons power forward, 2.03 m tall and 113 kg, who faced James and had to be held by his coaches and court security members.
When they released him, far from calming down, Stewart again ran out of control towards where the Lakers players were, throwing one of the coaches to the ground.
Bleeding profusely from the right eye, the 20-year-old pvot was being escorted to the locker room when he again slipped away and ran around the track avoiding his teammates and coaches who tried to stop him.
When Stewart could be retired, the referees reviewed the play and decreed the expulsion of the pvot and that of James, who had 10 points in 21 minutes of play, in addition to a technique to Russell Westbrook (Lakers).
Only one expulsion before in 18 seasons
In his 18 seasons in the NBA, LeBron had only been sent off once, for protesting the umpires, in 2017 when he was for the Cleveland Cavaliers and played against the Miami Heat, his former team.
“Everybody in the league knows that LeBron he’s not a dirty guy“said his Lakers teammate Anthony Davis.” As soon as he did it he said, ‘It was my fault, I didn’t mean to do it.’
“He (Stewart) don’t know what he was trying to do, but we were going to protect our brother,” he said. “We want to get victory for him.”
After calm was restored, the Lakers were 15 points behind (99-84) at the start of the fourth quarter against the weak Pistons, second to last in the Eastern Conference.
Led by Davis (30 points and 10 rebounds) and Westbrook (26 points and 10 assists), the Lakers gritted their teeth on defense and turned the score around with a 37-17 partial in the last room.
“I told my teammates not to panic, that we were going to win the game,” Westbrook, who led the attack with 15 points in the final period, later said.
Davis staged an impressive finish with spectacular plays such as a double plug to rookie Cade Cunningham followed by a basket at the opposite ring.
The Lakers finish with a three-game losing streak and they climb one step in the rankings to eighth place in the West, with 9 wins and 9 losses.
This triumph “is one of those things that can change the momentum of a season,” predicted Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel.
For the Pistons, Cunningham, number one in the last Draft, became the youngest player (20 years) in franchise history to record a triple-double, with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
Both teams will meet again on November 28 in Los Angeles.
Reference from elmundo