The Los Angeles Lakers managed to snap their three-game losing streak as they overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat the Detroit Pistons on Sunday afternoon.
Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook carried the Lakers in the second half as the two stars made plays on both ends to rally the team. Davis stuffed the stat sheet with 30 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, five blocks, and four steals while Westbrook recorded another near triple-double of 26 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds.
Although L.A. came away with the much-needed win, the story of the night was the brawl that occurred in the third quarter after Isaiah Stewart took exception to a hit from LeBron James. Stewart and James got into it and all hell broke loose when the big man charged at the Laker star with both eventually being ejected, via SportsCenter:
The Lakers and Pistons had to be separated multiple times after this play between LeBron and Isaiah Stewart. pic.twitter.com/im0o7fXeoI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 22, 2021
It looked like James was jostling with Stewart when lined up during free throws and accidentally caught him near the eye with his fist. Head coach Frank Vogel gave his perspective of the incident and acknowledged he was proud of how his players handled it.
“It was unfortunately contact,” Vogel explained. “LeBron was just trying to get the elbow off his rib cage which was a foul, he was trying to shed the contact and that incidental contact was obviously enough for a Flagrant 2. The reaction was what it was and I think our guys did a good job protecting our teammates but not trying to escalate. That’s what you want from our peacekeepers in those situations and for the most part I feel like our guys did that while trying to form a wall around a teammate. Standing up for each other without trying to turn it into sometime uglier, so I commend our guys for that.”
James was charged with a Flagrant 2 and automatically ejected from the game, while Stewart was called for two technical fouls and also tossed. Westbrook picked up a technical for his involvement, though it took nearly 20 minutes for play to resume.
Given the situation, Stewart will likely serve a lengthy suspension while James could miss time as well. It was a scary situation for nearly everyone involved and the NBA will need to take a long look at it in order to prevent any future incidents from happening.
Scott Foster gives interpretation of contact between James and Stewart
There was a lengthy conversation between the officials after the incident happened and crew chief Scott Foster provided an explanation for the ruling after the game.
“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.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!