The Lakers-Pistons melee is now more disciplined.

The NBA suspended star Lakers forward LeBron James for one game for “recklessly hitting” Pistons center Isaiah Stewart on Sunday night that left his face bloodied and required eight stitches. Stewart will be suspended two games for “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing” James in an unsportsmanlike manner.  

The NBA suspended the league Monday afternoon.

Stewart’s suspensions will be served Tuesday and Wednesday; James’s will be served on Tuesday.

This play occurred with 9:18 to go in the third period. Stewart and James boxed each other for positioning, while Jerami grant (Pistons forward) sank an assist. James lifted his left arm away from the ground and his fist closed caught Stewart on his right side, causing a gash over his right eye.

James seemed to feel remorseful after the elbow, and extended his hand to Stewart. Stewart was then knocked to the ground by the punch. Stewart raised his hand to confront James. He was followed by multiple coaches, players, staff, and officials who tried to seperate the pair.

Stewart was sometimes held back by as many as five to six people at times. However, he often broke away from these individuals to take on James. Stewart finally threw over several support staff and knocked them to the ground. Coach Dwane Casey and rookie Cade Cunningham were among the Pistons who stepped in to restrain Stewart, who had blood streaming down his cheeks.

James received an automatic ejection after drawing a flagrant foul 2. It marked only the second time in his 19 seasons that James had been ejected from a game. Stewart received multiple technical fouls, and it was almost 2 minutes before he could be taken off the court. Russell Westbrook, Lakers point guard was also given a technical foul.

Scott Foster was the referee and explained to James that James had made “unnecary and excessive contact over the shoulder,” while Stewrat gave technicals after the play for “multiple, unsportsmanlike actions”. 

Detroit was defeated 121 to 116 by the Lakers, who recovered from a 17 point deficit.

“His eye got cracked all the way open,” Casey said of Stewart after the game. “He was upset for a reason. I don’t think that James is a dirty player but it got (the Lakers) going, instead of continuing the momentum that we had.”

The Lakers take on the New York Knicks Tuesday evening, while the Pistons are facing two of the most formidable teams in Eastern Conference: the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday.

The next time these the Lakers and Pistons face off will be in less than a week, on Nov. 28 in Los Angeles.



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