Detroit Pistons lose to Lakers after Isaiah Stewart-LeBron fracas

A mundane and memorable start to the Detroit Pistons season suddenly turned into a battle for blood and guts.

The world’s most famous athlete was kicked out during a wild and tense scene at Little Caesars Arena.

Second year center Isaiah Stewart shot by LeBron James in the face, resulting in an argument between the Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers at 9:18 am in the third quarter on Sunday.

To make matters worse, the Pistons gave up a 17-point lead in the second half and lost 121 to 116, which spoiled Cade Cunningham’s first triple-double of his career.

Stewart suffered a large cut under his right eye during a Jerami Grant free throw when James Stewart slapped his face in a battle for position. Stewart, wedged between DeAndre Jordan and James in the play, got up from the floor, exchanged words with the longtime superstar, then tried to go after him.

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James and Stewart were both expelled, James for a flagrant-2 foul and Stewart for his angry reaction. Both benches were eventually vacated, and Stewart basically looked like he was going to fight anyone in street uniform.

    Cade Cunningham (2) tries to stop Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) from following Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) after being hit with an elbow.  James was expelled from the game after the play was reviewed at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday, November 21, 2021.

He had to be held back several times by security staff, assistant coaches, officials and players. Cunningham was among those players who desperately tried to stop Stewart from starting a brawl before he was finally ushered into the locker room.

The heated riot came just days after the infamous Malice’s 17th anniversary at the Palace between Indiana and the Pistons.

Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis spearheaded the Lakers comeback. Westbrook had 15 of their 26 points and six of their 10 assists in the fourth quarter. Davis finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two key late blocks against Cunningham, and two steals in the final seconds.

Grant led the Pistons with a season high of 36 points. Cunningham had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Grant gets rolling before halftime

Grant was pretty calm for most of the first half but broke out with four 3-pointers in the final 2:18 when the Pistons took a 68-61 half-time lead. Cunningham set up three of those 27-foot marks in its first half with seven assists.

Cunningham had everything going in the first half except his outside shot. He made two layups in the first quarter but failed on six 3-point attempts. The seventh time was the spell and came just before Grant’s excitement.

Grant continued to have the hot hand shortly before the altercation, jumpering on first possession and diving two minutes later. He finished the fourth with 28 points when the Pistons led, 99-84, and entered the fourth quarter.

Detroit Pistons Guard Cory Joseph (18) drives against Los Angeles Lakers striker Anthony Davis (3) at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday, November 21, 2021.

Sprained thumb by the way Hayes

Killian Hayes was left with a sprained left thumb. The sophomore security guard has been dealing with the injury for some time, making it worse in a fall against Indiana on Wednesday. He hit it again against Golden State on Friday.

Hayes could miss several games. The Pistons play against Miami on Tuesday and Milwaukee on Wednesday.

“We have to give his thumb a chance to heal completely,” said coach Dwane Casey. “It’s still so tender. The doctors recommended that he miss some time to allow his thumb to heal. “

Cory Joseph started in his place and Josh Jackson, who had been on the bench for the last two games, rejoined the rotation.

Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) goes after Los Angeles Lakers striker LeBron James (6) after he was hit with an elbow.  James was expelled from the game after the play was reviewed at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday, November 21, 2021.

Soaring Diallo lifts second unit

Hamidou Diallo scored a highlight of the season in the first five minutes of the second quarter.

Diallo played on the second unit for the third game in a row and scored 11 points in no time. His most impressive sequence began when he stealed the ball to Josh Jackson, then turned a praise pass with one hand. Diallo also made three more layups or dunks during this time frame, adding in his third 3-point mark of the season.

Diallo finished with 17 points and six rebounds.

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