Although the Minnesota Timberwolves clinched back-to-back wins over the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center, it was the early game scuffle that stole the headlines during and in the aftermath of Tuesday night's matchup.
Warriors' guard Klay Thompson and Timberwolves' forward Jaded McDaniels begun pulling on each others jersey while running down the court in transition, before things escalated when Draymond Green retaliated to Rudy Gobert putting his hands on Thompson. Green got the Frenchman in a chokehold, leading to a flagrant foul 2 automatic ejection while Thompson and McDaniels were also thrown out.
Minnesota Timberwolves' center Rudy Gobert has an interesting theory on Golden State Warriors' forward Draymond Green - but does he have a point?
The loss of Green and Thompson, on top of the absence of injured superstar Stephen Curry, proved critical as the undermanned Warriors faded late to a fourth-straight loss. Golden State held a 12-point lead during the third-quarter, but scored just 18 points in the final period to fall 104-101.
Speaking after the game, Gobert essentially claimed that Green doesn't want to play without Curry alongside him, labelling the 33-year-old's actions as 'clown behaviour'.
""It's kind of funny because before the game I was telling myself Steph is not playing, so I know Draymond is going to try to get ejected. Every time Steph doesn't play, he doesn't want to play without his guy Steph, so he's doing anything to get ejected. It's all good.""
While it may sound like some wild conspiracy theory, Gobert's claims actually have some substance. Of Green's last 11 ejections, seven have come when Curry was inactive.
At the same time, it's hard to fathom that Green would enter any game with the added thought of wanting to get ejected. That's particularly the case given it doubled as an In-Season Tournament game, and that the Warriors were entering on a three-game losing streak.
Tuesday night's early ejection was Green's second in just nine games this season. He was thrown out of last Saturday's loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers, recieving his second technical foul after an altercation with Donovan Mitchell in the third-quarter.
Green is expected to face further penalty for his actions on Gobert, with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the league is still deliberating on a potential suspension for the former Defensive Player of the Year.