The Timberwolves said in a statement that they accept the NBA's decision, but they explained that they chose to sit Russell "in order to learn his body better and to optimize his health during a difficult stretch of games and travel."
Minnesota announced the day prior to its game against Denver that Russell wouldn't play due to "planned rest."
Before the 2017 season, NBA owners approved a rule change that allows commissioner Adam Silver to fine teams at least $100,000 for resting healthy players in high-profile games on national television.
The T-Wolves didn't sit Russell for a nationally televised game, but he was a healthy scratch. The 24-year-old has played in five of of the past six games since the Wolves acquired from the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 6.
Sunday's game against the Denver was the first leg of a four-game road trip that will wrap up Friday against the Orlando Magic.