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NBA mailbag: Could LeBron's suspension spark success for Los Angeles Lakers?

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LeBron says his elbow on Stewart didn't warrant suspension (0:38)

LeBron James assures his elbow on Isaiah Stewart was accidental and doesn't agree with the league's decision to suspend him. (0:38)

Can a team fight its way out of a slump?

When LeBron James was ejected from Sunday's Los Angeles Lakers game against the Detroit Pistons for striking Isaiah Stewart in the face, sparking an extended on-court confrontation as teammates and coaches tried to restrain Stewart from seeking out retaliation, it came with the Lakers down 12 in the third quarter after losing their previous three games.

Without their star, the Lakers rallied for a 121-116 win and coach Frank Vogel cited the altercation between James and Stewart as a possible turning point for the team.

"To me, it's one of those things that can change the momentum of your season," Vogel said. "To see guys rally around a teammate that just got ejected like that in a strange circumstance. Played with incredible guts."

That leads to this week's mailbag question looking back on past NBA fights that have resulted in suspensions like those for both James (who missed Tuesday's loss to the New York Knicks) and Stewart (who was suspended for two games) to see what happened to the involved teams thereafter.

Throughout the NBA season, I answer your questions about the latest, most interesting topics in basketball. You can tweet me directly at @kpelton, tweet your questions using the hashtag #peltonmailbag or email them to peltonmailbag@gmail.com.


"Did teams that were involved in a fight go on win streaks afterward? Did it serve as motivation?"

-- Adam


To answer this question, I used a combination of Patricia Bender's invaluable compilation of fines and suspensions (up through 2017-18) and data from ProSportsTransactions.com for the past three seasons.