Los Angeles—Joel Embiid scored 19 points before being ejected because of a third quarter fight as the Philadelphia 76ers won their fourth straight game to start the season by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-95.
Embiid was sent to the showers along with Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns after the two got into a tussle that also included players and some coaches from both teams on Wednesday.
“I was built for this city and they were built for me,” said Embiid.
“You gotta be a Broad Street Bully,” he added in a reference to Philadelphia’s rough and tumble championship NHL team from the 1970s.
No one was injured in the melee 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 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.
Embiid and Towns were ejected. Embiid walked over to the sidelines and jokingly shadowboxed in front of the Sixers bench before being escorted to the locker room.
Towns declined to talk about the dust-up after the game.
“It was a competitive game. That’s all it was,” Towns said.
The victory leaves the 76ers as one of two unbeaten NBA teams along with the 3-0 San Antonio Spurs. The Timberwolves suffered their first loss falling to 3-1.
Tobias Harris scored 18 points, Furkan Korkmaz came off the bench to tally 17 and Simmons finished with 16 for Philadelphia. Al Horford grabbed 16 rebounds.
Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points and Towns finished with 13 points for the Timberwolves.
Elsewhere, Kemba Walker delivered his second straight 32 point performance as the new-look Boston Celtics came from behind to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-105.
New addition Walker had a breakout 32-point performance with the Celtics in a 118-95 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday.
He matched that Wednesday and added six assists and six rebounds as the Celtics improved to 3-1 on the young season.
Boston, who finished as the fourth seed in the East last season behind Milwaukee, Toronto and Philadelphia, are trying to show they are an even stronger contender this time around.
“It has been a great start so far,” said Walker.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 22 points and 14 rebounds.