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LeBron James gets fans ejected from courtside on return and hits clutch 3 in Lakers’ OT win

The LA Lakers star was again on court docket for the primary time following his second-ever profession ejection in opposition to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, and the 36-year-old exorcised any leftover frustrations in a 124-116 additional time victory over the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis.
Despite the absence of Anthony Davis by way of sickness, James stepped up with a season-high 39 factors — seven of which got here in additional time — in addition to six assists and 5 rebounds to pull his crew over the road.

Point guard Malcolm Brogdon led scoring for the Pacers with 28 factors, seven rebounds and two assists, as Indiana falls to 8-12 in the East.

The Lakers trailed for almost all of the sport, solely nudging forward for the primary time late in the fourth quarter earlier than two three-pointers in the closing 30 seconds from Pacers pair Justin Holiday and Chris Duarte despatched the sport into additional time.

Enter James: the 17-time All-Star sinking two clutch triples en path to outscoring the Pacers on his personal in OT, because the Lakers held their nerve to even their season file at 10-10.

LeBron James shoots during the second half against the Indiana Pacers.

Ejection drama

There was one other ejection at a Lakers recreation, however this time it wasn’t a participant. On Sunday, James was ejected after he made contact with Pistons star Isaiah Stewart in the face — an altercation that sparked a confrontational response from Stewart and an on-court scuffle.

Stewart was subsequently hit with a two-game suspension by the NBA for “escalating” the scenario and “repeatedly and aggressively” pursuing James, who himself obtained a one-game ban for “recklessly hitting” the Pistons heart in the face.

Midway by way of additional time in opposition to the Pacers, James spoke to the referee and appeared to gesture at two fans sitting courtside. The pair have been subsequently escorted out by safety from Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

James pointed out a pair of fans to security, who were then escourted out of the arena.

“There’s a difference between cheering on your home faithful, booing opponents, not wanting your opponents to be successful and there’s then moments where it goes outside the line with obscene gestures and words,” James informed reporters when requested concerning the incident after the sport.

“That shouldn’t be tolerated in our game from nobody. I would never say it to a fan and a fan should never say it to a player.”

James additionally shed extra mild on his personal ejection on Sunday, revealing he had not spoken to Stewart because the incident that he says was strictly “accidental.”

“I went over the apologize to him and you guys saw what happened after that,” mentioned James.

“Definitely accidental, I’m not that type of player. I hate to see what escalated after that. I thought it warranted an ejection because of what happened after that … but a suspension, I didn’t think was warranted.”

(*3*)

‘A efficiency for the ages’

Away from the ejection drama, Lakers coach Frank Vogel was merely glad to have his famous person again and to bear witness to “a performance for the ages.”

“I know he wanted to get this ‘W,'” Vogel mentioned.

“He really wanted to play in that Knicks game, he looks forward to that every year. So to bounce back tonight, to quarterback the defense and carry the offense the way he did — that’s just a performance for the ages.”

Elsewhere, the Golden State Warriors cruised to a dominant 116-96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. A household affair noticed the Warriors’ Steph Curry prime his youthful brother Seth with a 25-point haul to notch a fifth straight win for the Western Conference leaders.

On the topic of streaks, the Phoenix Suns continued their scorching kind with a 14th consecutive win — edging the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-115 — whereas the Houston Rockets snapped a 15-game dropping streak with a surprising 118-113 upset of the Chicago Bulls.

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