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Stewart, LeBron Draw Suspensions for Bloody Battle in Detroit

The former Husky big man took an elbow to the face from the Lakers' superstar.

Isaiah Stewart ended up with a bloodied face, compliments of NBA superstar LeBron James, plus a two-game suspension, but the Detroit Pistons center and former University of Washington big man showed he wasn't going to back down from anyone at basketball's highest level. 

On Sunday in Detroit, Stewart began pushing on James while they fought for position for a third-quarter rebound, and the Los Angeles Lakers' standout clearly didn't like it and swung an arm or fist into his opponent's face. 

James turned the 6-foot-9 Stewart into a bloodied and angry man who charged at the Lakers team several times before he finally was restrained and led away.

The Lakers guard drew a flagrant foul, an automatic game ejection and a one-game suspension, the first of his 19-year NBA career, which will cost him a check worth $284,000.

Stewart, for aggressively pursuing his assailant, was ejected from the game and will miss the Pistons' next two outings on Tuesday against Miami at home and on Wednesday at Milwaukee, stripping him of $45,200 in pay.

The Lakers, who won Sunday's game 121-116, will host the Pistons in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Stewart, a second-year pro, spent the 2019-20 season with the Washington Huskies and the then-freshman spoke about always playing with an attitude, as shown in the top video.

"I'm pretty angry pretty much every game," he said.

It's been a tough week for Stewart. Last Friday night in Detroit, he crashed to the floor with a sprained ankle early in the second half of a 105-102 loss to Golden State. He rolled onto his back, writhing in pain, his hands clasped around his head.

He starts at center and averages 7.3 points and 7.1 rebounds an outing for the 4-12 Pistons, one of the NBA's oldest franchises that is trying to rebuild after a downturn. 

A week ago, Stewart came up with a career-high-tying 20 points against the Washington Wizards. Yet he's most valuable doing the dirty work. 

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Stewart has been everything the Pistons envisioned when they drafted him 16th in the 2020 draft — a hard-nosed, unselfish and physical player who's not afraid of anyone when he takes the floor. 

He doesn't like Blake Griffin either.

Stewart recently got into it with the veteran forward, a former Pistons teammate and now with the Brooklyn Nets. In this instance, Stewart threw an elbow and Griffin threw him down, and the ex-Husky didn't back down. 

Afterward, Stewart just shrugged off his dust-up with Griffin, which was one of many, saying, "I just go out and play. I don't really feed into the beef. At the end of the day, I play hard and I play smart."

Stewart initially rolled his right ankle last summer with the U.S. Select Team, put together to prepare the American Olympic team for the Tokyo Games, and it forced him out of the competition.

This time, he needed help rising to his feet, his arms draped around trainers and teammates as he put no weight on his injured right ankle. He was ruled out of the game. Yet demonstrating how tough he is, Stewart later returned to the Detroit bench, his ankle wrapped with ice. He probably would have gone back in had the Pistons allowed it.

"At some point, the basketball gods are going to be good to us," Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. 

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