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Embiid, Towns hit with two game bans for altercation

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Los Angeles (AFP)

The National Basketball Association has slapped a pair of All-Stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid with two game suspensions for their roles in a fight during Wednesday night's contest in Philadelphia.

Minnesota Timberwolves star Towns and Philadelphia' Embiid were both ejected after the dustup which took place in the third quarter of the 76ers' 117-95 home win.

NBA vice-president Kiki VanDeWeghe made the announcement on Thursday, saying the bans are in response to an "on-court altercation and for their continued escalation following the incident."

The melee also included several players and coaches from both teams, but the league ruled the others became involved mainly as peacekeepers and not combatants.

No one was injured but tempers boiled over in the tussle that ignited under the basket with the Sixers leading 75-55 halfway through the third.

After they exchanged words, the two big men wrestled each other to the ground as teammates and coaches, including 76ers head coach Brett Brown, charged into the fray to try and separate the combatants. At one point Sixers Ben Simmons put a choke hold on Towns, who ended up at the bottom of the pile.

Before being ejected, Embiid walked over to the sidelines and jokingly shadowboxed in front of the Sixers bench.

Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said of Towns' ban: "While we are disappointed with the league's decision, we understand the magnitude of this unfortunate incident. The NBA is highly competitive and last night was a reflection of that."

Towns tallied 13 points in 23 minutes and Embiid scored 19 points in 20 minutes before the brouhaha began.

Towns will miss a road game Saturday against the Washington Wizards and a home game Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Embiid will be out for the first two games of the 76ers' four-game road trip which begins Saturday in Portland.

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