By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) — LeBron James was ejected from the Los Angeles Lakers-Detroit Pistons game after drawing blood on Isaiah Stewart’s face when they were tangled up while boxing out for a rebound on Sunday night.
James’s left elbow and hand appeared to make contact with Stewart above the neck, sending him into a bloody rage. Detroit’s center had to be held back more than once, keeping him separated from the NBA superstar.
Stewart was also ejected from the game early in the third quarter. Lakers guard Russell Westbrook was assessed a technical after the officials reviewed the play and the fallout from it.
James was escorted off the floor and fans did not throw anything at him as he walked toward the team’s locker room.
A cup was tossed from the stands in suburban Detroit on an infamous night on Nov. 19, 2004, triggering perhaps the worst brawl in U.S. sports history when a melee with the Pistons and Indiana Pacers spilled into the stands. During Sunday’s game against the Lakers, former Pistons Ben Wallace and Rip Hamilton were close to the latest fracas because they had courtside seats.
Stewart’s face was covered with blood after he and James were trying to get position for a rebound off a free throw. James appeared to attempt to apologize to Stewart as he lay on the court, but the 20-year-old center tried to charge toward the 36-year-old forward.
Stewart broke free more than once and appeared to be running into a tunnel that potentially provided a path toward to the Lakers’ bench.
Earlier this season, Stewart faced off with former teammate Blake Griffin of the Brooklyn Nets after they were tangled up during a game.
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