Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert had to be sent home Sunday after hitting teammate Kyle Anderson during a timeout in the team’s final regular season game.

Gobert and Anderson were seen talking on the Timberwolves’ bench during a timeout in their game against the New Orleans Pelicans, and it was clearly a heated exchange as their body language seemed animated.

But things went to another level when Gobert stepped forward and punched Anderson in the chest.

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Kyle Anderson #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves heads to the locker room after the first half of the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Target Center on April 9, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Timberwolves forward Taurean Prince got to his feet and shoved Gobert away from Anderson, who initially tried to approach him for further confrontation before being held back.

The Timberwolves announced that Gobert was out for the rest of the game, and The Athletic reported that the team sent Gobert home.

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This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Timberwolves, as a win in this game would move them into the eighth seed in the Western Conference, ahead of the Pelicans. Minnesota would still be set for the NBA play-in tournament, which begins Tuesday and will be followed by the first round of the NBA playoffs on April 15.

However, at halftime, the Timberwolves were trailing, 55-47.

In 13 minutes of the game, Gobert had three rebounds and two points for the ‘Wolves. But more importantly, his move against his own teammate is the last thing Minnesota needed in the biggest game of the year to date.

Kyle Anderson #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves is held by a teammate after an incident during a second quarter timeout of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Target Center on April 9, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Kyle Anderson #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves is held by a teammate after an incident during a second quarter timeout of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Target Center on April 9, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Depending on how this game plays out, the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds from each conference will play each other on Tuesday, with the winning team of that matchup being the No. 7 seed from that conference when the first round begins.

However, the loser will face the game winner of the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds from each conference to see who gets the final No. 8 seed.

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That’s why this game is so important to the Timberwolves: A win against the Pelicans could allow them two chances to reach the first round instead of a must-win Wednesday for the game of the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds.

Gobert has shown tremendous rebounding ability and stellar defense at the rim, but he doesn’t have the best reputation in the locker room. During his time with the Utah Jazz, several reports said that Gobert’s presence created a rift with players like Donovan Mitchell.

Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves warms up before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Target Center on April 9, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves warms up before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Target Center on April 9, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

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This incident with Anderson could now cause another rift, and the timing couldn’t be worse for a playoff-hopeful team.