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Lakers' LeBron James Ejected After Bloodying Pistons' Isaiah Stewart with Hit to Face

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 22, 2021

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 21: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up prior to the game against the Detroit Pistons on November 21, 2021 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart were ejected from Sunday's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons.

James and DeAndre Jordan were boxing out Stewart on a Jerami Grant free throw in the third quarter when James swung his left arm back and hit Stewart in the face. The two needed to be separated on the court after play stopped.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

LeBron and Isaiah Stewart get into it 😳<br><br>Wow. <a href="https://t.co/VJFntCo6cY">pic.twitter.com/VJFntCo6cY</a>

Regardless of whether the four-time MVP had any ill intent behind his swing, Stewart clearly took exception. The Pistons center ran across the court in an attempt to confront James (warning: contains strong language).

Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN

So many people making sure nobody touches LeBron <a href="https://t.co/FewhH1L7IN">pic.twitter.com/FewhH1L7IN</a>

Stewart wound up needing five stitches after the game.

This is only the second time in James' NBA career he has been ejected from a game. The first was in November 2017, when he was sent to the locker room early after arguing with referees.

James avoided a suspension four years ago, but he may not be so lucky this time around. Likewise, Stewart could face additional punishment.

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

Gotta imagine a suspension is coming for Isaiah Stewart. You lose it like that and you're gonna miss a game or two.<br><br>The real question is if LeBron James also gets a suspension or not. Flagrant 2's pretty regularly do also come with a one-game suspension. We'll see tomorrow!

Stewart continues to show promise in his second season. He was averaging 7.5 points and 7.5 rebounds entering Sunday.

As long as the 20-year-old doesn't miss a long stretch of games, the rebuilding Pistons shouldn't be too affected by his absence, though.

The Lakers managed to overturn a 15-point deficit through three quarters to earn a 121-116 victory Sunday, but the comeback still doesn't catapult themselves out of a play-in position.

Ankle and abdominal injuries have already forced James to miss 10 games, and his return Friday saw Los Angeles suffer a 130-108 loss to the Boston Celtics.

A one-game suspension may not seem like much, but Los Angeles can't afford to lose any more ground in the Western Conference playoff race, even at a relatively early juncture in the season.