The Minnesota Timberwolves face will be without two key players in the Western Conference play-in game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday (April 11).
Forward Jalen McDaniels suffered a season-ending fracture to his right hand after punching a wall in frustration, while Center Rudy Gobert has been suspended for punching teammate Kyle Anderson during a timeout in Sunday's (April 9) win against the New Orleans Pelicans, the team's final regular-season game, which secured the No. 8 seed in the final regular-season conference standings, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
"Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert isn’t traveling with team to LA and won’t play vs. the Lakers on Tuesday in the Play-In tournament, sources tell ESPN," Wojnarowski tweeted.
McDaniels punched the wall leading into a tunnel out of apparent frustration for being called for his second foul late in the first quarter and was seen grabbing his hand before X-rays later confirmed a season-ending fracture. Gobert and Anderson were later seen arguing in a team huddle, which witnesses claimed included Anderson telling Gobert to block shots and Gobert telling Anderson to grab a "f*****g" rebound. Sources said Anderson told Gobert, "Shut the f*** up, b***h" before Gobert punched Anderson in the chest and the two were separated by teammates, according to ESPN.
"Emotions got the best of me today. I should not have reacted the way i did regardless of what was said. I wanna apologize to the fans, the organisation and particularly to Kyle, who is someone that i truly love and respect as a teammate," Gobert tweeted on Sunday (April 9).
The Timberwolves are scheduled to face the Lakers in the first of two Western Conference play-in games on Tuesday night, with the winner advancing to the seventh seed and the loser playing the winner of the matchup between the No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans and No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder for the eighth seed.
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