In bringing an end to their season-worst three-game losing streak, the Lakers needed contributions from up and down the roster to overcome a 17-point deficit to ultimately notch a 121-116 win over Detroit. They did so largely without LeBron James, who was ejected in the third quarter after elbowing Pistons center Isaiah Stewart in the face.
The elbow nearly incited a brawl, as Stewart needed to be restrained before being ushered off the court by teammates and coaches. Stewart was also ejected along with James, with Russell Westbrook receiving a technical foul.
After the game, Lakers forward Anthony Davis defended James's reputation, saying he's known throughout the league as not being a dirty player and that James was attempting to apologize to Stewart for elbowing him before Stewart began charging him.
"Everyone in the league knows LeBron is not a dirty guy," Davis said, according to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group. On Stewart's repeated attempts to physically engage with James after the elbow, Davis offered a bemused response: "I don't know what he was doing, but we wasn't going to allow that."
Davis finished the game with 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and four steals. Westbrook was one rebound shy of a triple-double, scoring 26 points with 10 assists. Carmelo Anthony added 18 points off the bench on 5-for-8 shooting on three-pointers.
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