Timberwolves suspend Rudy Gobert for punching Kyle Anderson

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Timberwolves suspend Rudy Gobert for punching Kyle Anderson

The Minnesota Timberwolves have suspended center Rudy Gobert one game for throwing a punch at teammate Kyle Anderson in Sunday’s 113-108 season-finale win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Gobert will now miss Tuesday’s play-in matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers.

During a timeout call, Gobert and Anderson got into a heated altercation. After insults were exchanged, Gobert lost his temper and threw a punch into Anderson’s chest after Anderson told him to, “Shut the f—k up, b—ch.” At halftime, the argument continued. Gobert was then sent home.

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“Tempers flare, you’re in the middle of a game, a game we all want to win, a huge one, it is what it is,” Kyle Anderson said. “You know, s—t happens. It’s not the first time something like that has happened.” The Timberwolves trailed 48-36 when the coaching staff ejected Gobert.

Furthermore, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year ended his performance with two points and three rebounds in less than 14 minutes played. Although the Timberwolves are 8-4 in games played without Rudy Gobert this season, it still would have helped to have the 10-year veteran for the play-in tournament.

Timberwolves suspend Rudy Gobert one game for throwing a punch at Kyle Anderson in Sunday’s 113-108 win over the Pelicans

Rudy Gobert also tweeted out his apology after the game. “Emotions got the best of me today. I should not have reacted the way i did regardless of what was said,” wrote the Timberwolves center. “I wanna apologize to the fans, the organisation and particularly to Kyle, who is someone that i truly love and respect as a teammate.”

In 70 starts during the regular season, Gobert averaged 13.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 30.7 minutes per game. The four-time All-NBA member finished fourth in rebounds (814), 15th in blocks (95), third in field goal percentage (65.9%), and ninth in defensive rating (109.4).

Additionally, Minnesota will also be without breakout star Jaden McDaniels, who suffered a season-ending right hand fracture after punching a wall in frustration for picking up his second foul late in the first quarter.

The Timberwolves are already shorthanded at center. Naz Reid sustained a left wrist fracture on March 29 and had surgery last week. Karl-Anthony Towns replaced Gobert in the second half against the Pelicans, and Towns helped Minnesota take its first lead on a clutch 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter.

Moreover, sportsbooks show the Lakers as 7.5-point favorites over the Timberwolves. LeBron James (foot), Anthony Davis (foot), and Dennis Schroder (neck) are all listed as probable for Tuesday’s play-in matchup. According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Lakers have an 82.1% chance of winning at home.

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