Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James on Monday was suspended for a game without pay for the first time for making contact with Detroit Pistons star Isaiah Stewart in the face.
James had been ejected during a game against the Pistons on Sunday.
The ejection was only the second in James’ career, the first coming in 2017 for comments made to a referee.
Sunday’s altercation occurred with 9:18 remaining in the third quarter and the Lakers trailing 78-66 in Detroit. As a free throw was being attempted, James swung his arm backward while boxing out for a rebound, hitting Stewart.
The foul led to a prolonged game stoppage while Stewart, with blood coming down his face, had to be held back by Detroit coaches and players as he tried to confront James on several occasions. Stewart was also ejected from the game.
The Lakers went on to win 121-116.
The NBA issued a release Monday saying that Stewart will be suspended for two games without pay for “escalating” the confrontation and “repeatedly and aggressively” pursuing James.