Pistons C Isaiah Stewart allegedly “sucker punched” Suns PF Drew Eubanks before game

The NBA is investigating the pregame incident.

Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart
Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Things got unexpectedly testy before Wednesday night's game between the Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns.

Pistons center Isaiah Stewart and Suns power forward Drew Eubanks got into a scuffle in the Footprint Center tunnels as players were just arriving at the arena. The two players were chest-to-chest when things escalated with a swing of a fist. They had to be separated by security and the NBA is expected to take a look at the security footage available, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

"Words were said, I got sucker punched, and security intervened," Eubanks told Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports before tip-off.

Isaiah Stewart punched Drew Eubanks before Pistons-Suns game for unknown reasons

Stewart isn't playing on Wednesday night either way. He's been out injured with an ankle injury and isn't expected to return healthy for at least another week.

Eubanks was seen warming up despite the altercation. He told Bourgeut that it was a "soft punch" and he'd be good to play.

Presuming there is security footage, the NBA should be able to figure out potential punishment for either player fairly quickly. If Stewart did indeed throw the first, or only, punch, it may be a while longer before he suits up for the Pistons.

Stewart was suspended for two games in 2021 for an altercation with LeBron James.

The Pistons and Suns were set to tip off at 6:00 p.m. PT in Phoenix.

Detroit is coming off losses in Los Angeles to the Lakers and Clippers. Phoenix has won four of their last five games including Monday's 130-125 win over the Kings.

The two teams last played in November with the Suns notching a 120-106 win. Kevin Durant exploded for 41 points while Eubanks came off the bench for 18 minutes with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting. He had three rebounds and an assist but also four personal fouls.

Stewart started that game, scoring eight points in 34 minutes with two rebounds and one assist.

UPDATE: The Suns released a strong statement calling the altercation an "attack on Drew Eubanks," via The Athletic.

"The attack on Drew Eubanks was unprovoked, and acts of violence such as this are unacceptable. We unequivocally support Drew, and will continue to work with local law enforcement and the NBA."

The Pistons also released a statement saying far less:

“We are aware of the incident between Isaiah Stewart and Drew Eubanks prior to this evening's game. We are in the process of gathering information about what happened and what provoked it, and responding to the NBA and local authorities.”

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