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Karl-Anthony Towns Had An Absolutely Ridiculous Night Against The Hornets
If you put Karl-Anthony Towns on your daily fantasy basketball team like we suggested on Wednesday night, you’re a happy camper right now.
Towns was the force behind the Timberwolves’ 121-104 win over the Hornets at Target Center. It marked the team’s ninth win over its last 12 games.
The big man finished with 35 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks, three assists and two steals. He scored efficiently, too, shooting 13-for-20 from the field (65 percent) and 4-for-5 (80 percent) from the 3-point line.
While fantasy basketball is great and fun, Towns’ numbers are more importantly dictating his team’s success.
“He had a terrific all-around game… blocked shots, rebounding, making plays out of the post, scoring,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game. “Just great activity the whole night. He’s getting into a great rhythm, trying to make the right plays, trying to do the right things, getting to his second and third effort defensively and that’s huge for us.”
It was Towns’ second career game with 30 or more points, 10 or more rebounds and five or more blocks. It’s only the 20th such game, per Timberwolves PR, since he entered the NBA. Only Anthony Davis (eight) and Kevin Durant (two) have tallied more than one such game.
“They key (in the win) was just having KAT being real strong in the paint,” Teammate Taj Gibson said. “The last couple games, just his leadership as far as demanding the ball late in the fourth.
Towns is doing it on both ends of the court and wants to take over. His six blocks tied a career high, something he’s done six times in his career. He also added two steals.
When listening to his teammates, what we’ve seen on the court is also something they’ve seen behind the scenes.
“The last month, he’s been doing a great job of just being vocal, doing the small things, leading from speaking and doing on court,” Gibson said.
Jeff Teague, who dished out a career-high 18 assists in the game, continued the conversation.
“He’s demanding the ball on the offensive end. Tonight, he was the anchor on the defensive end. Calling out the screens, playing hard,” Teague said. “Contesting every shot. That’s something an All-NBA guy can do.”
After a slow start, Towns’ season stats (21.3 PPG, 12 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.7 BPG) are getting back to where they were last season when he was named an All-Star and made the All-NBA Third Team.
not sure how the food chain works...
but one KAT just made a meal of two hornets pic.twitter.com/uv5ZbA2KAI
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) December 6, 2018
It’d be a huge surprise if those numbers don’t continue to trend upwards. Since the trade (which is kind of how everything is measured right now given the team’s total shift to success after the move), his numbers are up, and he’s been more efficient.
Pre-trade: 19.9 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.1 BPG, 0.9 SPG, 45.9 FG%, 40.6 3P%
Post-trade: 22.8 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.3 BPG, 1.0 SPG, 52.6 FG%, 42 3P%
“This is his team,” Teague said. “We go as he goes. He’s demanding the ball and being aggressive. We all know he’s one of the top players in the league. We expect that from him and we go to him.”
The recent surge from Towns mostly came at home. Ten of the last 12 games from the Wolves have been played at Target Center. Homecourt advantage is always a good thing and Target Center isn’t easy to play at. The Wolves are 11-4 at home this season. Last season that mark was at 30-11.
“I mean, first and foremost it’s the fans. The fans make being home so great. Thank you to the fans. We appreciate y’all. We’re glad we could bring you some wins,” Towns said in arena postgame.
Now the test is to bring that success to the road, a place where Minnesota has struggled so far this season, winning just two of eight games. The Wolves start a four-game homestand on Saturday against the Blazers and 10 of the team’s next 13 games are on the road.
“Be watching on TV,” Towns continued. “We’re gonna bring you some more (wins).”
Towns is in a good place. You can tell his confidence is oozing and what might be more important, his teammates’ confidence in him is at an all-time high.