SALT LAKE CITY — Fireworks were on display in Vivint Arena Friday night as the Utah Jazz hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves live on ESPN.
The Jazz came out on top, 116-108, but the gritty game resulted in three ejections, five technical fouls and a Flagrant 2.
Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns received two technical fouls in the first half while Jeff Teague was hit with a Flagrant 2 at 5:20 in the fourth knocking down Ricky Rubio.
“The first technical foul was assessed during the review for the dead ball contact for the elbow to the face to Crowder,” said NBA crew chief Kane Fitzgerald. “It was a dead ball contact technical foul. The second technical foul was for continuous complaint. Three or four plays in a row he was complaining and a technical foul was given.”
Utah’s Jae Crowder received his two techs in the fourth and even Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau was hit with one for arguing with Crowder.
As injured NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler recovers from right knee meniscus surgery, he came out of Twitter hibernation to spark up a beef with his former Marquette teammate.
“Haven’t used Twitter in years,” Butler wrote. “But yeah Jeff that’s what I like to see. Rubio getting up quick for no reason.”
“Jae get away from my coach,” he added in another tweet. “You don’t want no smoke either”
Crowder saw the tweets then issued a bold response of his own before addressing the media.
“I DONT TWITTER BEEF ILL LEAVE THAT TO U.. BUT U GOT MY PHONE NUMBER AND KNOW MY HOME ADDRESS..!! THE REST CAN BE HISTORY,” Crowder tweeted.
Although it appeared to be serious via social media, Crowder joked with Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell in the locker room after the heated online exchange. Crowder said it’s nothing serious. They played at Marquette together during the 2010-11 season that finished 22-15 and reached the East Regional Semifinal in the NCAA tournament.
The back-and-forth action was all in good fun as Crowder left the arena with his father, Corey, who returned as a Jazz alumnus. His son's toughness is certainly being felt in the locker room in just seven games.
Friday night was just the latest example.
“He’s a competitor, he’s a trash talker and all of the above and he wishes he was out there competing in a game like that,” Crowder said of Butler. “That’s what’s probably eating him up the most is that he wish he was on the court fighting with his guys but that’s my guy.”