The Los Angeles Lakers rose to success after three straight bankruptcies, but the narrow 121: 11 win in Detroit was overshadowed by an unsightly fight between LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart. Both were sent off, later Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis took over the reins.
Detroit Pistons (4-12) – Los Angeles Lakers (9-9) 116: 121 (MATCH REPORT)
After a few minutes in the third quarter, there was uproar, some of which even made one think of “Malice at the Palace”, the mass fight between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers in November 2004. Now, the main protagonists were LeBron. James and Isaiah Stewart luckily the scene didn’t turn as badly as it did 17 years ago.
It started with a brawl between the Lakers star and the Big Pistons under the basket in a fight for the rebound. LeBron hit Stewart with his hand in the face, which he didn’t like at all. He struggled, exchanged a few one-on-one words with James, and the anger continued to heat up. Stewart had to be restrained by his teammates, but he couldn’t calm down.
The 20-year-old suffered a serious injury to his bleeding right eye as a result of the scuffle with James, which had to be sewn up with five stitches and for which he clearly wanted to return the favor. Several times he tore himself away from his teammate and Pistons coaches to sprint across the field towards the assembled Lakers team. It took more than two minutes for an angry Stewart to come off the pitch.
Stewart, who was whistled for a foul on James before he hit him in the face, was therefore sent off the field by the referees. James received a flagrant foul 2 and also had to take an early shower. In addition, Russell Westbrook received a technical foul following the uproar.
Pistons center Isaiah Stewart struggled to calm down against the Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers win comeback
At this early stage of the third quarter, the Lakers were 12 points behind. The pistons were thanks to the good score of Jerami Grant (36 points, 5/9 trio), the good support of the bank in the person of Hamidou Diallo (17) or Frank Jackson (15) and the first triple-double of No. 2. 1-Pick Cade Cunningham (13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, but 6/21 FG) on track to exacerbate the Lakers crisis.
Detroit sat down at 17 points and entered the final section with a lead of 99:84. But then Westbrook and Davis upped it again. “Everyone has stepped up a gear when [LeBron] had to come out, ”said AD, who filled the stat sheet with 30 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 5 blocks.
It was Davis who ultimately won the comeback victory. In the last minute, the Big badly cleared Cunningham twice in a row, on the other side he brought the guests in front after a good assist from Westbrook with +5, his free throws closed the game soon after.
Davis scored 12 points in the final section alone and was only outscored by Westbrook. The point guard scored 15 of his 26 points in the fourth round and was a big factor in the comeback. In addition, he had 10 assists and 9 rebounds at 10/21 from the field. Carmelo Anthony did a good job again as Sixth Man (18, 5/8 lines), as did Dwight Howard (13 and 5 rebounds).
The Lakers will now continue Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. Whether LeBron is in the game or whether the superstar will be suspended from the league was not yet certain on Sunday night local time.