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Gobert fined $75,000 for making 'money sign' in Wolves' Game 4 loss

DENVER – Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was fined $75,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for making a "money sign" during the Wolves' loss to Denver in Sunday night's playoff game at Target Center.

It's the second time this season he's been fined for the gesture in games involving referee Scott Foster. The previous fine was $100,000.

The Nuggets played host to the Wolves at Ball Arena on Thursday night with the best-of-seven Western Conference playoff semifinal series tied 2-2.

The NBA release said Gobert made an "inappropriate and unprofessional gesture that questions the integrity of the league and its game officials."

Gobert rubbed his fingers together after getting called for a foul by Foster with 4:10 to play in the 115-107 loss. Gobert grabbed a rebound, but he was called for an offensive foul by Foster — after getting called for another offensive foul by Foster on the Wolves' previous possession. Gobert briefly protested before walking down the court. As he walked, he quickly rubbed his thumbs on his fingers while shaking his head — a gesture caught by TNT's cameras.

He said he wasn't surprised when the league issued him the fine, even for such a quick gesture, and added there was no message he was trying to convey. He said he and the team had to do a better job of controlling their emotions headed into Game 5 on Tuesday.

"Individually, collectively, we got to, whatever happens, we got to focus on what we can control and definitely can control our emotions and control the way we react to adversity and react to anything that happens on the court," Gobert said.

Wolves coach Chris Finch said the team was disappointed Gobert made the gesture, but complained about the league's seeming inconsistent discipline of Gobert vs. Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, who in Game 2 of the series made the same finger motion and threw a towel and heating pad, the latter of which reached the floor during play.

Murray was fined a total of $100,000.

Finch said the team would like to see the "itemized receipt."

"If it's $75,000 for the gesture, then it must be $10,000 for the towel and $15,000 for the heating pad," Finch said. "It's a little bit of a head scratcher to us."

It didn't appear as though the referees spotted Gobert's Game 4 gesture, but they did March 8 in Cleveland. There, after he was whistled for his sixth foul by Foster, he made the same gesture, but he was seen by referee Natalie Sago and called for a technical foul, giving the Cavaliers a free throw in a game the Wolves lost 113-104 in overtime.

After that game, Gobert told reporters he believed gambling was having an impact on the outcome of games, adding: "I'll bite the bullet again. I'll be the bad guy. I'll take the fine, but I think it's hurting our game. I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn't feel that way."

He was fined $100,000 the next day.

Conley out

Timberwolves point guard Mike Conley was not available for Game 5 because of right Achilles' soreness, it was announced shortly before tipoff.

Conley suffered the injury on one of the last plays of Game 4 when attempting a three-pointer.