Karl-Anthony Towns showed no mercy to the San Antonio Spurs as the Minnesota Timberwolves superstar put up 60 points and 17 rebounds in the Wolves’ win.
Timberwolves beat the Spurs behind Karl-Anthony Towns’ 60 points
There were times during the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 149-139 win in San Antonio Monday night where Towns might have shifted down a gear in attacking the basket — after all, two of his drives resulted in a technical and a flagrant foul.
But Towns was simply relentless in putting pressure on the rim because the Spurs had no one capable of stopping him, and the Wolves needed the production.
Towns tied his career-high of 56 at the end of the third quarter, a period during which he scored 32 points. Towns unleashed the jumper during that period to display the full repertoire and drag Minnesota from a dogfight to a double-digit lead, but the aggression was always there; his 15-of-16 mark on free throws was as big an indicator as anything else of his start-to-finish dominance.
He finished with 60 points, setting a new franchise record, and made 19 of 31 field goals, including 7-of-11 from three. Oh, and he added 17 rebounds for good measure.
San Antonio put Jakob Poeltl on Towns, and KAT put the big guy through hell from the start with his mobility and versatility on offense. He didn’t even need to let his jumper off the leash to start; his quickness off the dribble was too much for Poeltl to handle and created a few thunderous dunks.
Towns told Bally Sports’ Katie Storm postgame that he didn’t expect to have his best performance, that he felt some fatigue from recent games. He was even shocked by his point total from the third quarter.
“In my mind, I was so locked into dominating, I didn’t really think of anything else but ‘Every time I touch the ball, go score the ball,’” Towns said on Wolves Live Postgame. “I was just in a different mindset, every shot felt really good, it felt pure off my hand.”
Towns was also candid about how the difference in his teammates’ reaction to his 56-point game in 2017-18 and this night showed the different vibe around this team.
“I appreciate these guys so much because I ain’t never been celebrated. I don’t know how that feels,” Towns said. “To have people do that when I got 60 was a crazy feeling. I remember getting 56, it was treated like it was another day.”
“He’s a guy who, like all of us, we need the confidence of our teammates to be our best version of ourselves,” head coach Chris Finch said of Towns. “They know he’s the guy, and he can take us to these types of performances when we need them most.”
Here are two other takeaways from a historic night.