LeBron James, Isaiah Stewart take center stage as Lakers host Pistons

Sunday night’s contest between the Detroit Pistons and host Los Angeles Lakers is decidedly the undercard.The real attraction is that LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart are back on the same floor just seven days after a wild fracas in Detroit led to ejections and suspensions for both players.James drew a one-game suspension for striking Stewart in the face with his left fist. Stewart received a two-game suspension after going bonkers and escalating the situation as he made repeated attempts to get at James as blood flowed out of the ugly gash on his face.James said earlier this week that the blow was accidental. Stewart, of course, doesn’t buy that and said as much after returning from the suspension and playing in Friday’s 107-96 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.”I watched the film. Me, personally, I didn’t feel like it was an accident,” Stewart told reporters. “But this is my last time addressing it. My main focus right now is on my team and my teammates, getting back to playing basketball. I’m not going to let that define who I am.”The video of the incident will not soon be forgotten. Stewart had to be restrained by teammates, coaches, referees and security members during the third quarter of Detroit’s 121-116 loss as the blood poured down his face.The incident happened after the two had jostled for positioning during a free throw. James drew a flagrant foul 2 for his actions but expressed disbelief that he was suspended after the fact.”I didn’t think it warranted (a suspension),” James said. “I thought it warranted an ejection because of what happened after that. Having me, probably, still in the game and the excitement from the fans and what could possibly happen after that, obviously. But a suspension, I didn’t think it was warranted. But the league made that call.”As for the actual game, Anthony Davis had 30 points and 10 rebounds and Russell Westbrook contributed 26 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds as Los Angeles beat Detroit for the fourth time in the past six meetings. James had 10 points in 21 minutes.Jerami Grant scored a season-best 36 points for the Pistons. Stewart had four points in 19 minutes.The Lakers enter the rematch with five losses in seven games and a frustrated disposition.

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