Just over four minutes remained in the second quarter of the Timberwolves' game against New Orleans on Sunday at Target Center.

This was the regular-season finale, more important than the previous 81 games, and not much was going right. A few blown assignments. Coach Chris Finch suggested frustration. The Wolves were down 12. During a timeout, Kyle Anderson and Rudy Gobert started exchanging words. Gobert lunged at Anderson, appearing to throw a punch.

Gobert was escorted off the court and ultimately sent home. Then the Wolves went back out on to the floor and changed the game.

The final: A come-from-behind 113-108 victory. One fueled on offense by Anthony Edwards (26 points) and Karl-Anthony Towns (30) and on defense, particularly by Edwards late on the Pelicans' Brandon Ingram. Ingram, who scored 42, looked like Michael Jordan early, far more human late.

"Wild one," Finch said. "Kind of a microcosm of our season, if you think about it, all the stuff that went on in that game. Super proud of the guys who fought back."

The victory pushed the Wolves to 42-40, tied with New Orleans in the Western Conference. But because the Wolves won the season series 2-1, they finished eighth in the West, avoiding the need to win two games to make the playoffs. They will play the Lakers at 9 p.m. Tuesday in Los Angeles to open the play-in tournament.

The winner will be the seventh seed in the West and play second-seeded Memphis in the first round of the playoffs.

The Pelicans play host to Oklahoma City in a 9-10 matchup on Wednesday, with the winner taking on the loser of the Lakers-Wolves game on Friday for the right to play top-seeded Denver.

But this victory was about as Pyrrhic as they come.

Frustrated during the first quarter, forward Jaden McDaniels punched a wall in the tunnel. A source confirmed that McDaniels broke his right hand.

And then there was that timeout.

Finch said it's not something he condones or will tolerate. Afterward, Towns politely skirted the issue while Edwards gave a flat no comment. President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly issued a statement that read: "We made the decision to send Rudy Gobert home after the incident in the second quarter. His behavior on the bench was unacceptable and we will continue handling the situation internally."

Gobert apologized on Twitter later Sunday, saying "Emotions got the best of me today. I should not have reacted the way i did regardless of what was said. I wanna apologize to the fans, the organisation and particularly to Kyle, who is someone that i truly love and respect as a teammate."

Mike Conley (17 points, seven assists) called it one of the more gritty wins anyone will ever be a part of. "The things we went through in today's game is not normal,'' he said. "Hit after hit, we just found a way to lean on each other."

He was, presumably, speaking figuratively.

Anderson? Just flaring tempers, he said. "You're in the middle of the game, a game we want to win, a huge one. It ain't the first time someone has swung on me. We'll speak about it and move on. We're grown men."

For whatever reason, it was a catalyst. From that timeout until Towns had hit three three-pointers in a 9-2 start of the fourth quarter the Wolves outscored the Pelicans 56-39. Going with a small lineup that had Towns at the five, he and Edwards combined for 37 of Minnesota's 66 second-half points. The Wolves got a huge help from the bench (38 points, led by Taurean Prince's 18). In the second half, the Wolves shot 55% overall, hit half their 16 threes and held the Pelicans to 41.5% shooting.

The Wolves led by two with 1:30 left when C.J. McCollum went in for a dunk. Soaring through the air, Edwards blocked it. At the other end Edwards lost the ball. But Conley got it back and got it to Edwards, who scored, was fouled and hit the free throw for a five-point lead with 57.3 seconds left.

So, Sunday, the Wolves proved again they can take a hit. Afterward, Conley said Gobert had already texted his teammates.

"You're talking about Kyle and Rudy who are two of the biggest competitors you'll meet,'' Conley said. "Stuff happens, honestly. Rudy will tell you firsthand he lost control and he'll apologize for it."