T-Wolves’ Rudy Gobert gets ‘unacceptable’ technical foul for making money sign toward refs in crunchtime

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Rudy Gobert seemed to insinuate the Minnesota Timberwolves were at a disadvantage Friday night.

With less than 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the T-Wolves led the Cleveland Cavaliers, 97-96, and Minnesota had the ball.

Gobert, though, was called for a foul, his sixth of the night, leading to his early exit. But he wasn’t a fan of the call and let referee Scott Foster know about it.

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Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) reacts after fouling out during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.  (Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports)

While walking off the court, Gobert rubbed his fingers together, seemingly suggesting refs had money on the game.

That prompted a technical foul, giving the Cavs a free throw. Darius Garland knocked it, the game went into overtime and Cleveland won, 113-104.

“A technical foul with 27 seconds in the game, to be honest, is unacceptable,” Wolves assistant head coach Micah Nori, filling in for an ill Chris Finch, said. “That’s who Rudy is, but you’ve got to be smart. He made a visual that was automatic. He was obviously frustrated — both teams were — but we have to be smarter.”

Rudy Gobert (27) of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after being called for a technical foul by referee Natalie Sago during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse March 8, 2024, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers defeated the Timberwolves 113-104 in overtime.  (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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Gobert admitted he was wrong to make the gesture but said it “was the truth.”

“My reaction, which I think was the truth, but it wasn’t the time to react that way,” he said. “It cost my team the game. It was an immature reaction. It’s not just one call. Everyone makes mistakes, but when it’s over and over and over again, of course it’s frustrating.”

Gobert’s night ended with seven points and 17 rebounds.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) dunks during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. (Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports)

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Minnesota lost the top seed in the Western Conference with the loss, and with Karl-Anthony Towns out with a meniscus injury, the team will have to tread water for a bit while fighting with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets in the standings.

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