It was yet another game with ejections in the 2021-22 NBA season, as LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart were tossed from the game. The Detroit Pistons hosted the Los Angeles Lakers, and what started as an up-tempo enjoyable game of basketball got violent in the second half.
With 9:18 left on the clock in the third quarter, LeBron was looking to box out Stewart while Jerami Grant was shooting free throws, but it ended with Stewart catching an elbow to the eye. There was a foul that made LeBron swing his left elbow, and while it might have seemed unintentional, the referees saw it as unnecessary contact.
Crew chief for the Lakers-Pistons game, Scott Fraser was asked for an interpretation of the play, and he gave a detailed breakdown.
"Upon the free throw, the initial contact deemed a loose ball foul by Isaiah Stewart and then a dead ball act by LeBron James, deemed a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2 for unnecessary and excessive contact above the shoulder."
King James left the game with 10 points and 5 assists, also registering his 2nd career ejection, while Stewart finished with 4 points. It was LeBron's second game for the Lakers after returning from an eight-game absence due to an abdominal injury. He returned looking sharp against the Boston Celtics, but an overall defensive lapse by the Lakers cost them the game.
In an unexpected turn of events, the Lakers rallied from a 17-point deficit late in the third quarter to secure a 121-116 victory. Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony turned up the heat in the fourth quarter.
It was a masterclass for the Lakers on both ends of the floor as they held the Pistons to only 17 points in the fourth quarter. The Pistons made only three field goals on 18 attempts. Five of their 11 turnovers also came in the fourth.
Both teams will meet again on November 28 at Staples Center, and hopefully, there will be no bad blood. With that victory, the Lakers are ranked 8th in the Western Conference standings.