Lakers beat Pistons in calm rematch

November 30, 2021
Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (left) knocks the ball out of the hands of  Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (left) knocks the ball out of the hands of Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES (AP):

LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart had no Round 2 in the Lakers' rematch with the Pistons.

James was too busy making sure Los Angeles got the same decision he wasn't around to see last week in Detroit.

James had 33 points, nine assists and no confrontations with Stewart in the Lakers' 110-106 victory Sunday night.

Russell Westbrook had 25 points and nine assists, and Anthony Davis added 24 points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers returned to .500 with their second win over Detroit in eight days, rebounding from an embarrassing triple-overtime loss to Sacramento last Friday.

"That Sac game lingered with us for a couple of days, giving that game away," Davis said. "I think we did a good job defensively tonight, getting this kick-start to a winning streak."

Stewart was booed repeatedly and zealously by the Lakers' crowd, but he appeared to have no significant interactions with James after both players were ejected from the teams' meeting in Detroit a week earlier for an ugly altercation.

James was assessed a Flagrant-2 foul and ejected when he hit Stewart in the face while they jockeyed for rebounding position. An infuriated Stewart repeatedly attempted to charge at James in the aftermath, earning his own ejection. James served a one-game suspension and Stewart got a two-game ban.

Stewart kept the pot stirring Friday by saying he didn't think James' blow had been accidental, as James claims it was. The 20-year-old Stewart is three and a half years older than James' oldest son, Bronny.

James was well past the brouhaha before the rematch.

"We were mad as heck the other night after that Sac loss," James said. "We made it a point to come in today very focused on our game plan, learning from our mistakes, and we got better. Right there lets me know we're a team that cares and wants to get better."

The Pistons also didn't feel there was any extra juice to the rematch.

"It's just basketball," Jerami Grant said. "Things happen on the court, but you've got to get your mind right and get ready to play."

Grant scored 32 points and No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the Pistons' sixth straight loss.

Stewart had five points and six rebounds in 27 minutes in the rematch.

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