MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns was suspended two games for his fight with Philadelphia center Joel Embiid, the NBA announced Thursday.
Embiid also was suspended two games, while 76ers guard Ben Simmons, who some believed was choking Towns on the floor, was not suspended. The NBA agreed with the officials’ ruling from Wednesday night’s 76ers’ victory that Simmons served as a “peacemaker” during the incident.
Towns and Embiid broke out in a brawl in the third quarter. After Embiid pushed Towns, Towns put Embiid into a headlock. Embiid appeared to try to gouge Towns’ eye before the two wrestled one another to the ground.
On Tuesday, Towns said he wasn’t focused on his individual matchup with Embiid, who has routinely gotten the best of the Wolves’ center.
In a statement released by the Timberwolves on Thursday, president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said the team was “disappointed” by the league’s decision to suspend Towns, adding the Wolves “understand the magnitude of this unfortunate incident.”
“The NBA is highly competitive and last night was a reflection of that,” Rosas said in the statement. “We support Karl and will move forward together as a group.”
Embiid raced to social media after the game to say he was “raised by lions,” while noting that Towns’ mom was in the stands “giving middle fingers left and right.” Embiid then proclaimed he had “serious real estate” in Towns’ head.
Towns’ two-game suspension has him slated to miss the Timberwolves’ games at Washington on Saturday and against Milwaukee on Monday at Target Center.
The Timberwolves announced Thursday they’ve exercised Josh Okogie‘s third-year option for the 2020-2021 season.