NBA hands Embiid, Towns 2-game suspensions for fight


Posted at Nov 01 2019 03:18 PM | Updated as of Nov 01 2019 04:13 PM

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives for position against Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during the first quarter of their match at Wells Fargo Center. Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Minnesota Timberwolves forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, who were ejected during a Wednesday night game, were each suspended two games by the NBA on Thursday.

The punishment was in response to the "on-court altercation and for their continued escalation following the incident," NBA executive vice president, basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe announced.

No punishment or fine was issued to 76ers guard Ben Simmons, though the Timberwolves maintained that he was an aggressor as the melee escalated. Referee Mark Ayotte, speaking to a pool reporter, said that Simmons was "deemed a peacemaker" in the incident.

With 6:42 left in the third quarter at Philadelphia, Embiid and Towns became entangled and wrestled to the floor. Numerous players and coaches then joined in.

Towns appeared to throw a punch as the players hit the floor.

After an extensive video review by league officials, Embiid and Towns were ejected and the fans chanted "MVP!" to Embiid as he left the court. The 76ers, who led 77-55 at the time of the scuffle, went on to win 117-95.

Embiid had 19 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes, and Towns recorded 13 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes before the ejections.

Towns will miss a road game Saturday against the Washington Wizards and a home game Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Embiid will be out for the first two games of the 76ers' four-game road trip: against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday and the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas issued a statement regarding Towns' suspension: "While we are disappointed with the league's decision, we understand the magnitude of this unfortunate incident. The NBA is highly competitive and last night was a reflection of that. We support Karl and will move forward together as a group."

Towns, 23, is averaging 27.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, four assists, 2.5 steals and 1.8 blocks through four games this season. Embiid, 25, is averaging 23.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.7 blocks through three games.

Both are two-time All-Stars.

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