Brandon Knight accuses Metta World Peace of punching him

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Lakers are anxiously awaiting whether Dwight Howard will play Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets.

But if Pistons guard Brandon Knight had his way, Metta World Peace’s playing status would be in question too.

World Peace was called for a flagrant foul type 1 in the Lakers’ 98-97 win Sunday over the Detroit Pistons after wrapping his hands around the back of Brandon Knight’s neck with 1:43 left in the second quarter. Apparently, more than that happened.

“The play needs to be reviewed because he definitely threw a punch,” Knight told reporters after the game. “It felt like he threw a punch. That’s why I reacted the way I did.”

Pistons fans reacted strongly too. After all, they fully remember the former Ron Artest’s role in the infamous “Palace Brawl” eight years ago where he charged into the stands after a fan threw a drink at him while lying on a scorer’s table.

That was hardly the case this time around.

World Peace and Knight locked up. The two shoved each other. Replays showed World Peace lightly touched Knight’s face during the exchanges.

In fact, Dwight Howard laughed at the incident following a recent timeout.

“He’s a small guy,” World Peace said of Knight. “He was trying his hardest to keep me off him. He worked hard, man. That kid, I don’t know where he’s from, I don’t know what school he went to, because he was guarding me and I was crashing the boards. He’s a tough kid, man. He tried to keep me off the glass and he did a good job. That’s all I can say. He’s a tough kid, very great. He’s a tough point guard or shooting guard or whatever he is.”

In case World Peace was wondering, Knight went to Kentucky and plays mainly at point guard in his NBA second season. He also isn’t a fan of World Peace.

“The play was over and he grabbed me around the neck,” Knight told reporters. “If someone grabs you around the neck, you’re not just going to let that happen. You do what you need to get that person off you.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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  • Jon K

    I hate the Pistons.