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Isaiah Stewart Suspended by NBA After Punching an Opponent Before Pistons-Suns Game

The Detroit Pistons star was arrested after punching Phoenix Suns center Drew Eubanks before their game last week

<p>Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty</p> Isaiah Stewart

Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty

Isaiah Stewart

Criminal charges stemming from a pregame fight between Isaiah Stewart and the Phoenix Suns’ Drew Eubanks have been dropped. But the Detroit Pistons center has been suspended by the NBA.

An assault charge was originally filed against Stewart, 22, for punching Eubanks, 27, in the face during an altercation in the parking lot of the Suns’ Footprint Arena in downtown Phoenix last week.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that the criminal charges against Stewart have been dropped, although the NBA says the center will serve a three-game suspension.

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“Stewart will begin serving his suspension with the next NBA regular-season game that he is eligible and physically able to play, which is expected to be tonight’s game between the Pistons and Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis,” the NBA said in a news release Thursday, adding that Stewart’s suspension will be without pay.

Related: Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart Arrested After Punching Suns’ Drew Eubanks Before Game: ‘Unacceptable'

<p>Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty</p> Isaiah Stewart

Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty

Isaiah Stewart

Stewart has been recovering from an ankle injury and has not played since Jan. 28. He was not expected to play against Phoenix last week, when he got into the fight with Eubanks.

The Pistons star was reportedly cleared to return this week, according to The Athletic. However, he will now need to wait three games until his suspension is completed.

The Suns, meanwhile, lashed out at Stewart in a statement after the game, describing it as an “attack” and saying the punch was “unprovoked” and “unacceptable.” They said, "We unequivocally support Drew, and will continue to work with local law enforcement and the NBA.”

Head coach Frank Vogel also told reporters that “there’s no place for anything like that in our game.”

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However, Pistons coach Monty Williams took umbrage with the Suns speaking out about the incident before an NBA investigation could determine what happened between Stewart and Eubanks before the game. "For me to come here and make a statement would be a bit irresponsible,” Williams said, per ESPN. “I know the Suns said it was ‘unprovoked.’ I think that is irresponsible for sure. You really don't know.”

Eubanks’ teammate Kevin Durant, one of the leading player voices in the NBA, said he and his teammates support Eubanks but said that “s--- happens.”

“It’s unfortunate what happened before the game,” Durant told reporters, per ESPN, after the Suns beat the Pistons 116-100 last week. “It’s supposed to be a brotherhood, but also understand that dudes get into stuff and stuff may happen. We try to avoid that in this league, but s--- happens and hopefully we can move on from it. We all support Drew and have Drew’s back. He’ll move on and move past it.”

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Read the original article on People.