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Seeds Settle, Tempers Flare in Final Day of NBA Regular Season

Records were broken and punches were thrown on the final day of the NBA regular season on Sunday (April 9), which locked in playoff spots and created drama for front offices and fans alike.

The biggest news of the day came out of Minnesota, as Rudy Gobert and Kyle Anderson got into an argument during a timeout in the second quarter that caused Gobert to throw a punch at Anderson’s chest. Anderson charged at the center and the two had to be separated as Gobert was sent home from the team’s 113-108 win over the Pelicans.

According to reports, the disagreement stemmed from Anderson telling Gobert to block some shots and Gobert telling Anderson to grab a rebound. Sources say Gobert lost his temper and fired a punch into Anderson after the wing told him to, “Shut the f— up, b—-.” The verbal jousting continued into halftime, but nothing turned physical.

Gobert was suspended by the Timberwolves on Monday for the incident, meaning he’ll miss the team’s play-in game against the Lakers on Tuesday. He has since apologized to his teammates and sent out a tweet apologizing to the fans, the organization and Anderson.

That wasn’t the only punch thrown in Minnesota on Sunday, as breakout forward Jaden McDaniels was ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured right hand after punching a wall following his second called foul in the first quarter. As one of their premier defensive players, losing McDaniels is a huge blow for the Wolves, who locked up the eight-seed with their win on Sunday.

Believe it or not, Minnesota was not the only team to have a scuffle on the bench, as Mason Plumlee and Bones Hyland got into it in the Clippers‘ 119-114 win over the Suns. The two exchanged words at the end of the third quarter following what appeared to be a blown defensive possession, causing Hyland to shove Plumlee and forcing teammates to step in and break the two up.

Just like the Timberwolves, the argument didn’t affect the Clippers’ ability to win, as they locked up the fifth seed and will face Phoenix in the first round next Sunday (April 16).

Additionally, the Warriors and Heat made entries in the record books on Sunday. Golden State scored 55 points in the first quarter, the most all-time, in their 157-101 win over Portland while Miami scored the most bench points in NBA history (111) in their 123-110 win over the Magic. The latter’s performance was spearheaded by 42-year-old Udonis Haslem, who put up a game-high 24 points in the veteran’s final regular-season game.

Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges also made history on Sunday, starting his 83rd game of the season to become the 42nd player ever to accomplish the feat. Bridges started the game, committed a foul and was subbed out, keeping his streak of never missing a game in college or the pros intact. Sunday was Bridges’ 392nd consecutive game in the NBA, and he’s the first to play in 83 games since Josh Smith in 2014-15.

In non-playoff news, both the Rockets and Pistons moved on from their head coaches on Sunday. Houston declined to pick up Stephen Silas’s fourth-year option, ending his three-year run with the team that saw him go 59-117 overall and 22-60 this season. In Detroit, Dwane Casey is transitioning to a front office role after five seasons as the head coach, finishing with a 121-263 record.

The playoff bracket is set, and the play-in games kick off on Tuesday. What a way to end a wild season in the Association.

What did you think of this past Sunday in the NBA? Let us know by leaving a reaction at the bottom of this post or by tweeting us @celebsecrets.

Author

  • Mason Klemm

    Mason Klemm is a sports news and culture writer. He is a junior at Bradley University studying sports communication, so he obviously loves all things sports. When his eyes aren't glued to ESPN or Twitter, he enjoys watching TV and movies. Originally from Minneapolis, he is a self-proclaimed geography nerd and loves the Eagles and Twins.

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Mason Klemm is a sports news and culture writer. He is a junior at Bradley University studying sports communication, so he obviously loves all things sports. When his eyes aren't glued to ESPN or Twitter, he enjoys watching TV and movies. Originally…

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