Despite Blood, Sweat, and Cheers: Pistons blow lead to Lakers

by Alan Hunt II, The Michigan Chronicle

Despite leading by 15 heading into the 4th quarter, the Pistons fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 121-116 Sunday. On paper it was technically a home game for the Pistons, but as in many NBA arenas, the Lakers faithful nearly neutralized any home court advantage as purple and gold jerseys filled Little Caesars Arena (LCA).

For much of the game the LA Lakers looked more like the LAARP Lakers as the much younger Pistons squad made numerous hustle plays forcing 13 Laker turnovers. “Very competitive game. We put ourselves in a position to win,” said Coach Dwane Casey.

However, the game’s turning point, which you’ve seen on your social media timelines by now, came in the third quarter as Isaiah Stewart caught a forearm from LeBron James as he attempted to box out on a free throw attempt. Although James appeared to immediately apologize, Stewart saw red both in the blood coming down his face and in his emotions too as he repeatedly had to be held back from charging the Lakers. James was ejected for the second time in his career. Stewart too was thrown out of the game.

“It was a tough play with Isaiah. His eye got cracked open and he was upset for a reason, but I don’t think [LeBron] James is a dirty player. It got them going though instead of continuing the momentum we had,” said Coach Casey.

Coming off a three-game losing streak, it appeared the Pistons were going to deliver the Lakers’ fourth consecutive loss, but after the ejections LA outscored Detroit 37-17 in the fourth quarter. The come-from-behind win spoiled rookie Cade Cunningham’s first career triple double. He’s the youngest player in Pistons history and 8th youngest in league history to reach the achievement.

“I’m happy to see that I was able to accomplish something like that, that’s big time. But, I think winning the game is even greater than that, so I am still going to go home kind of sour that we lost. But, just try to get better…” said Cunningham.

The Pistons are set to play the Lakers again next Sunday, November 28 in LA. However, it is uncertain who will be available to suit up as suspensions are expected to come from the league office in the next 24 hours.

 

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