The highly anticipated matchup between Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns on Wednesday night went down with a bang – literally.
The two big men, who have a history of talking trash to each other, got tangled and shoved each other at the Wolves’ end of the court while the Sixers pushed the ball upcourt, with Towns responding with a punch that missed and following up with putting Embiid in a headlock.
Embiid vs. KAT!!!
— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) October 31, 2019
After players were pulled from the pile and separated, the officials conducted a review, and Embiid and Towns were both ejected. Ben Simmons, at one point, appeared to have his arm around Towns’ neck in a sort of choke-hold. Simmons was not ejected.
“Just making sure my teammate was good,” Simmons said. “I always got my teammate’s back.”
Did Ben Simmons really put KAT in a chokehold? pic.twitter.com/kS5JvT63CY
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 31, 2019
Afterward, Embiid made light of the situation in a post on his Twitter account, writing in part, “Great team win!!! I was raised around lions and a cat pulled on me tonight.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 31, 2019
Meanwhile, Towns downplayed the fight.
“It’s a competitive game. As a team, we need to play better with our system. We didn’t execute our game plan,” he said. “I’m disappointed in the (loss). I don’t think we played our game. We were playing a different type of basketball. It wasn’t what got us to 3-0. We can learn a lot from this game.”
Philadelphia beat Minnesota 117-95 for its fourth consecutive victory to begin the season. The Sixers were leading by 20 when Embiid and Towns went at it.
- Timberwolves: Visit Washington on Saturday
- 76ers: Open a four-game trip at Portland on Saturday