LeBron ejected for shot to Pistons’ Stewart face; Stewart ejected for going after LeBron in wild scene

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This was not your typical “oh, you’re lucky my teammates are holding me back” faux NBA fight.

There was blood on the face of the Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart after a shot from LeBron James, and Stewart tried to go after him. Hard. Multiple times, requiring a lot of people to try and hold him back. The ejections were well earned.

It all started with 9:18 to go in the third quarter and Detroit’s Jerami Grant was at the free throw line. In the pushing to get position for a potential rebound (Grant made the shot), LeBron caught Stewart clean with a shot to the side of the eye (at first glance it looks like an elbow, but other angles of the video make it look like a closed-fist punch as he tried to get Stewart off him to go for the board). As blood streamed down Stewart’s face, he wanted to exact revenge on LeBron and it took a lot of effort to hold him back.

This is the camera angle that makes it look more like a punch from LeBron. You can argue LeBron was trying to use his elbow to get Stewart’s arm off him and just comes through with a backhand, but it’s still a shot to the face.

Here’s a fan angle of the incident — Stewart wanted to fight (he grew up boxing).

After a lot of time reviewing the video, LeBron was ejected — which the Detroit crowd loved — and Stewart was ejected for going ballistic in trying to get to LeBron.

Russell Westbrook picked up a technical as well.

This was only the second ejection of LeBron’s career.

LeBron can expect a fine from the league for his actions and, if they determine it is a punch, a suspension. This is LeBron, however, so the smart bet is a fine. Stewart would be lucky to get off with a fine, that looked like it could lead to at least a one-game suspension for failure to leave the court in a timely fashion (running over guys to get to LeBron will get him a game). The Lakers and other broadcasters said Stewart overreacted, but how would you react if someone split your face open in a pickup game?

The Lakers and Pistons play again a week from today in Los Angeles.