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Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns Both Named to All-NBA Third Team
Minneapolis/St. Paul – Minnesota Timberwolves guard/forward Jimmy Butler and center Karl-Anthony Towns have both been named to the All-NBA Third Team. This is the second such honor of Butler’s career as he earned All-NBA Third Team honors in 2017 with the Chicago Bulls. This is the first such honor of Towns career. Butler and Towns become the fourth and fifth players in franchise history to be named to an All-NBA team (Kevin Garnett 8x, Kevin Love 2x, Sam Cassell). It marks the second time in club history that two Timberwolves have been named to All-NBA Teams in the same season (2003-04, Garnett First Team and Cassell Second Team).
In his seventh NBA season and first with Minnesota, Butler finished the 2017-18 campaign ranked 15th in scoring (22.2 ppg), 29th in assists (4.9 apg) and 4th in steals (a career-best 1.97 spg) while adding 5.3 rpg in 36.7 mpg (3rd in the NBA). Butler, 28, led the Wolves to their first postseason appearance since the 2003-04 season, with the Wolves going 37-22 (.627) in the 59 regular season games he started. The Tomball, Texas native shot a career-high 47.4% from the field, 35.0% (70-for-200) from three-point distance and 85.4% from the FT line, the latter figure good for 25th in the league.
Named a Western Conference All-Star for the fourth time in his career, Butler totaled 30+ points 11 times, including a season-high 39-point performance, which included 12 in overtime, in an overtime win vs. Denver on Dec. 27. He poured in 38 points Feb. 9 at Chicago, his career-high third consecutive 30+ effort. Butler also netted 20 of his 33 points in the 4th quarter vs. the L.A. Clippers on Dec. 3, becoming the 14th player in team history to score 20+ in a quarter. He collected 26 points, 10 rebounds and five steals Nov. 19 vs. Detroit, becoming the third player in Wolves history (with Tom Gugliotta and Kevin Garnett) to record a 25+ pt/10+ reb/5+ stl game.
In his third NBA season, Towns finished the 2017-18 campaign ranked fourth in the NBA in rebounding (12.3 rpg), 20th in scoring (21.3 ppg) and 11th in blocks (1.40 bpg). He started all 82 contests for the Wolves and currently owns the league's longest active ironman streak at 246 consecutive games. Towns posted career highs in all three shooting categories: 54.5% from the field, 42.1% (120-for-285) from three-point range and 85.8% from the free throw line. He set the franchise record for single-game scoring when he tallied 56 points against Atlanta on Mar. 28, becoming one of four Wolves players to record 50+ points in a game. Towns also led the league in double-doubles this season with 68 (182 career).
Named a Western Conference All-Star for the first time in his career, Towns marked his All-Star Game debut on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He was also named Western Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 20 (third career honor), after posting averages of 20.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in leading Minnesota to a 3-1 week. Towns became the first player in NBA history to amass 5,000+ points, 2,500+ rebounds and 250+ three-pointers in his first three seasons in the league.