NBA

Timberwolves suspend Gobert for Lakers play-in game after punching team-mate

By Sports Desk April 10, 2023

Rudy Gobert has been suspended by the Minnesota Timberwolves for Tuesday's play-in game against the Los Angeles Lakers for throwing a punch at team-mate Kyle Anderson during an argument in a team huddle during a timeout.

The Timberwolves announced the one-game suspension of the 10-year veteran on Monday.

The incident occurred in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans, when Gobert got into a heated exchange with Anderson and hit him in the upper chest.

Gobert was escorted off the court and sent home by the team at half-time.

Trailing by 12 points at the time of the altercation, Minnesota ended up rallying for a 113-108 win to secure eighth place in the Western Conference.

As the No. 8 seed, the Timberwolves will have two opportunities to win a play-in game and earn a playoff berth.

If Minnesota win at Los Angeles, they will clinch the No. 7 seed and face the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.

If they lose, however, the Timberwolves will return home Friday to host the winner of the Pelicans-Oklahoma City Thunder game for a chance at the No. 8 seed and a first-round matchup against the top-seeded Denver Nuggets.

In addition to facing the Lakers without their top rim protector in Gobert, Minnesota will also be without Jaden McDaniels after he sustained a broken wrist from punching a wall in the tunnel that leads to the locker room on Sunday.

Acquired from the Utah Jazz in blockbuster trade last summer, the 30-year-old Gobert averaged 13.4 points, a team-leading 11.6 rebounds and 1.36 blocks (the 12th-most in the NBA) in 70 games in his first season with the Timberwolves.

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