Russell Westbrook's technical foul during the Los Angeles Lakers' 121-116 victory over the Detroit Pistons took a backseat to ejections for both LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart, but the point guard apparently wasn't even aware that referees issued the violation.
He told reporters the officials didn't mention the technical to him:
Westbrook got the technical in the aftermath of a fracas that involved James and Stewart. James elbowed the Pistons big man in the face while establishing position for a rebound, and Stewart had to be held back multiple times and charged at James.
While Westbrook wasn't sure why he was penalized, crew chief Scott Foster said after the game, "During our review for an altercation, we deemed him an escalator and not a peacemaker."
James was given a flagrant-2 foul and ejected, while Stewart was assessed two technical fouls and also thrown out of the game.
The Pistons held a 12-point lead when the altercation took place and looked likely to win without having to worry about defending James. However, the Lakers outscored Detroit 37-17 in the fourth quarter for an impressive comeback win.
Westbrook was a major reason for the victory.
He tallied 26 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds and two steals, while co-star Anthony Davis posted 30 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and four steals. Perhaps the pair were motivated by James' ejection and shifted into takeover mode.
Regardless, it was a much-needed win for the Purple and Gold. It snapped a three-game losing streak and moved the Lakers to 9-9.
Technical foul aside, Westbrook's ability to play like he did Sunday will be key for Los Angeles as it looks to overcome an inconsistent start to the season.