Jeff Teague ejected for hip check on Ricky Rubio, Jimmy Butler likes it

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Minnesota was already behind and had a real problem: Karl-Anthony Towns had been ejected in the first half for a couple of technicals (the second one for arguing a non-call), and that left nobody who could slow Utah’s Rudy Gobert, who was dominating inside and finished with 26 points and 16 boards.

The Timberwolves were behind and shorthanded, point guard Jeff Teague was frustrated, so he hip-checked Ricky Rubio coming down the court.

Teague deserved to be ejected for that one, there wasn’t even a play on the ball. You know coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t like it (this game mattered in the standings), but Jimmy Butler — injured and watching at home — did.

Right after Teague was sent to an early shower, Thibodeau and Jae Crowder had words and they both earned a technical. Crowder was later ejected with less than a minute to go.

It was a wild night. After the game, Thibodeau chose his words carefully to avoid a fine but said he was “disappointed” in the referees.

Oh, by the way, Utah won the game 116-108. The loss dropped Minnesota into a four-way tie with Portland, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City for seeds three through six in the West (and Minnesota trails all of them in the loss column). Without Butler until around the end of the season (by Butler’s estimates) the Timberwolves can’t afford to have its best player and point guard getting tossed in key games. They need wins or they could slide back to the seven or eight seed and have to face Houston or Golden State in the first round.

Utah still wants into the dance, they remain two games back of Denver and the eight seed (Denver won Friday night, too, as did the Clippers). The Jazz have the easiest remaining schedule of any of these teams.