April 10 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves sent star center Rudy Gobert home after he punched teammate Kyle Anderson during a timeout in the second quarter of their recent win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The incident occurred with less than five minutes left in the first half of the 113-108 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday in Minneapolis. The team announced after the game that Gobert was sent home because of the altercation.
"Emotions got the best of me," 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 teammate."
Gobert, Anderson and other Timberwolves players surrounded coach Chris Finch at the start of the sequence. Gobert and Anderson exchanged words while Finch was addressing the team. Gobert then leaned in toward Anderson and swung his right hand at Anderson, hitting the Timberwolves forward in the chest.
Several Timberwolves players separated the teammates. Gobert was taken out of the game and sent to the locker room.
Forward Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 30 points in the victory. Guard Anthony Edwards totaled 26 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, four steals and four blocks for the Timberwolves.
Anderson scored eight points and logged nine rebounds and four assists. Gobert scored just two points in 13 minutes. Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram scored a game-high 42 points in the loss.
"We are not proud of that behavior by anybody," Finch told reporters, when asked about the Gobert-Anderson scuffle. "We really haven't dug too far into the root cause of it. Guys were just frustrated."
Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels also sustained a right hand injury during the win over the Pelicans. He scored two points in the win.
That incident occurred with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter. McDaniels committed a foul and was taken out of the game. He then walked into the tunnel and punched a wall, resulting in the injury.
Gobert, a three-time All-Star, joined the Timberwolves in a July trade from the Utah Jazz. Anderson signed with the Timberwolves last off-season as a free agent.
The Timberwolves finished the season in eighth place in the Western Conference standings. They will battle the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA play-in tournament at 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Los Angeles.