Minnesota Timberwolves suspend Rudy Gobert for play-in game against LA Lakers

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Minnesota Timberwolves suspend Rudy Gobert for play-in game against LA Lakers

Rudy Gobert, pictured against the Phoenix Suns
Rudy Gobert, pictured against the Phoenix SunsReuters
Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (30) has been suspended for Tuesday's play-in game against the Los Angeles Lakers after he punched team mate Kyle Anderson (29) in the chest during an incident on the sidelines of Sunday's game, the NBA team said on Monday.

The Frenchman will miss one game and he will be eligible to participate in a second play-in game, if necessary.

Gobert left Sunday's game after the altercation that came during a time out in the first half of the team's 113-108 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Anderson repeatedly hurled insults at Gobert on a night when the veteran three-time All-Star was playing hurt, ESPN reported.

"Emotions got the best of me today," Gobert tweeted Sunday night.

"I should not have reacted the way I did regardless of what was said. I wanna apologize to the fans, the organization and particularly to Kyle, who is someone that I truly love and respect as a team mate."

The Timberwolves are seeded eighth in the Western Conference and will play the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday for a chance to face the second seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs.

If the Timberwolves lose to the Lakers, they will play the winner of the Pelicans-Oklahoma City Thunder play-in game, with the winner to take on the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in the first round.

The 30-year-old Gobert has been named Defensive Player of the Year three times. He averaged 13.4 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 70 games for the Timberwolves this season.

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