The Philadelphia 76ers remain undefeated after a comfortable 117-95 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Wells Fargo Center in a fiery affair.
Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns were locked in a big man battle through three quarters, before tempers flared, resulting in both players getting ejected.
After Ben Simmons forced a Towns turnover, the Timberwolves big man got tangled up with Embiid, with both players shoving each other, leading to both sets of players rushing in along with coaches and security staff.
After the officials reviewed the tape, both players were done for the night, with 6:42 remaining in the third.
Embiid made sure to let the home crowd know about it, hyping them up on his way to the tunnel.
Joel Embiid had Philly in a frenzy moments after being ejected. pic.twitter.com/7UJKheYHMs- ESPN (@espn) October 31, 2019
Despite his role in the fight, Embiid said post-game that he should not face any further punishment.
"I didn't throw any punches, so I shouldn't be suspended," Embiid said, according to Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times.
"It's basketball. That's what I'm good at. I like to get in people's mind. There was not a lot of talking," he told reporters. "I mean, it kind of happened out of nowhere and I just did what I had to do. I was just trying to control myself...it happens."
Simmons, who was the first on the scene, managing to pry Towns away from Embiid said post-game that he was simply supporting his teammate.
"Just making sure my teammate was good," Simmons said. "I always got my teammate's back."
Transcript: NBA Referee Mark Ayotte Comments to Pool Reporter after Timberwolves-76ers Game. pic.twitter.com/5OFAQpwbIO- NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) October 31, 2019
With the 76ers leading 77-55 at the time, the Timberwolves faced an uphill battle getting back into the game without their All-Star centre, with the 76ers depth proving too much as all five starters scored in double figures.
Embiid finished with a game-high 19 points and five rebounds, despite his early exit, while Tobias Harris added 18 points, Ben Simmons 16 and Al Horford and Josh Richardson 16 apiece.
Towns left the game with 13 points and six rebounds as the Timberwolves drop their first game of the season, while the 76ers make it a 4-0 start for the first time since the 2000-01 season.