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WNBA suspends Brittney Griner, four others for involvement in fight

By Connor Grott
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was suspended three games for her role in an on-court fight. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/34c228938861d01459fb23fef3ca4618/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was suspended three games for her role in an on-court fight. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The WNBA handed down suspensions to five players, including star center Brittney Griner, for their roles in a fight during a game between the Dallas Wings and Phoenix Mercury.

The league announced the punishments Tuesday, with Griner receiving the longest suspension at three games for "throwing punches, escalating the incident, and pushing Kayla Thornton's face with an open hand."

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Wings forwards Kristine Anigwe and Thornton each were suspended two games for their roles in the altercation. Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and Dallas forward Kaela Davis each received one-game bans and a fine for leaving the bench area and directly engaging with the opposing team.

The WNBA also fined Phoenix forward DeWanna Bonner $500 for escalating the incident.

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The brawl occurred with 6:25 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Wings' 80-77 win Saturday. Griner and Anigwe got tangled up in the paint and a fight ensued.

On-court officials restrained Griner near the middle of the court as she continued to lunge at Dallas players. After a lengthy review, the referees ejected Briann January, Griner, Taurasi, Anigwe, Thornton and Davis.

The league enforces a minimum one-game suspension if any player attempts to throw a punch or exits the bench area during an on-court altercation.

Griner will serve her suspension Wednesday when Phoenix hosts the Connecticut Sun. Anigwe and Thornton will begin their suspensions Wednesday when Dallas hosts the Los Angeles Sparks.

Taurasi will serve her one-game ban after she returns from an injury. Davis won't serve her suspension until Sunday when the Wings play Connecticut.

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