Final day of NBA regular season leads to madness across league
Apr 9, 2023, 3:35 PM
The final day of the NBA regular season saw some wild moments all across the league, from punched walls, punched teammates and scuffles on the bench.
In Phoenix, the Los Angeles Clippers were taking on a shorthanded Suns team without their starters. The Clippers needed a win to potentially avoid the play-in game but were losing to Phoenix for much of the game.
During a timeout, L.A. big man Mason Plumlee and guard Bones Hyland had an altercation that led to the two getting in each other’s faces before being separated by teammates.
Hyland gave (the much bigger) Plumlee a shove across the chest during a four-point game entering the fourth quarter.
Mason Plumlee and Bones Hyland getting into it now pic.twitter.com/GQZFQ53CAS
— Cage (@ridiculouscage) April 9, 2023
The Clippers won the game against Phoenix’s reserves but will take what seems to be a ruptured team chemistry into the first round of the playoffs against the Suns.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert threw a punch at teammate Kyle Anderson during a timeout in the second quarter Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Timberwolves announced at halftime that Gobert would not play in the second half without giving a reason.
The television camera on the Minnesota bench showed Anderson and Gobert having a heated discussion, before Gobert raised his arm toward Anderson and appeared to hit him in the chest with his hand.
Coaches and players separated the two, and Gobert was escorted to the locker room.
Oh my Rudy Gobert just threw a punch at his own teammate Kyle Anderson pic.twitter.com/6GP5wwkCqW
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) April 9, 2023
“We made the decision to send Rudy Gobert home after the incident in the second quarter. His behavior on the bench was unacceptable and we will continue handling the situation internally,” Minnesota president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said in a release.
But, the drama did not end there for Minnesota. Later in the same game, wing and defensive specialist Jaden McDaniels was walking to the locker room while clearly frustrated.
McDaniels took a mean punch at one of the tunnel’s walls, fracturing his right hand and likely ending his 2023 playoffs.
Jaden McDaniels punched a wall so hard he put himself out of the game pic.twitter.com/QJQFoMI1i2
— Pelicans Film Room (@PelsFilmRoom) April 9, 2023
The Wolves and Pelicans were playing for better seeding, with both teams assured of at least making the play-in tournament. Despite the madness, the Timberwolves went home victorious.
The win set the Timberwolves up with the No. 8 seed and they will play the Lakers in the first round of the play-in. New Orleans is the No. 9 seed and will host the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.