KAT’s back with claws out in a Timberwolves Target Center classic

Karl-Anthony Towns, Alex Rodriguez, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Karl-Anthony Towns, Alex Rodriguez, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves finally had the good fortune to welcome back All-Star power forward/center Karl Anthony Towns. And it seems that it was not a moment too soon for the emotional see-saw contest that Timberwolves fans had the good fortune to see up close and personal at Target Center.

The Minnesota Timberwolves were starving for a win, and the visiting Atlanta Hawks had the misfortune of being the NBA team that had to travel to Target Center and face the Timberwolves in front of very emotionally charged home-court fans.

The excitement began in this one as soon as the introductions were made. Both Timberwolves stars: Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns were listed as questionable before the game. Before the game, the team announced that KAT would play, but that Anthony Edwards would be a game-time decision. But although he looked good in pregame warmups, Edwards was ruled out for this one.

As soon as the announcer called out Karl-Anthony Towns’ name, Target Center erupted with cheers, applause, and a not-so-unexpected standing ovation. It was a memory-making game opener. But it would get better.

Game Takeaway III: Karl-Anthony Towns does not wilt under pressure

The Minnesota Timberwolves had the great fortune to have the team down by one point, and Karl Anthony Towns at the free throw line with just over three seconds remaining on the game clock. With all of the positive energy in Target Center, you wanted the game to be decided with the ball in Towns’ hands. He didn’t let the fans down.

For the game, Karl Anthony Towns was the team’s second-leading scorer, putting up 22 points hauling in four rebounds, dishing out three assists, and snagging two steals. There is no denying that his final two points were his most important. The Timberwolves win the games and have gotten back to a .500 record.

Game Takeaway II: Mike Conley competes with Karl-Anthony Towns for the first time

Despite the excitement of getting KAT back on the basketball court, there are a lot of pragmatic challenges to solve.

Unlike the forced collaboration between PG D’Angelo Russell and C Rudy Gobert, PG Mike Conley is a high IQ veteran who works hard to solve problems for the team, not to create them. Conley scored 13 points and handed out six assists. Best of all, despite handling the basketball to a new lineup, he did not allow a single turnover.

Game Takeaway I: Naz Reid leads the team in scoring off the bench

Almost unbelievably, backup center Naz Reid converted 26 minutes into 26 points. That’s right, he scored on 11 of 15 from the floor, including two of four from the perimeter, to lead the Timberwolves in scoring. He hauled in eight rebounds and got two steals on the evening as well. But he was not the only offensive juggernaut for the Timberwolves, as SF Jaden McDaniels put up 25 points, six rebounds, and two blocks to the cheers of home-court fans.

The Timberwolves would win the nailbiter, and complete the magic of a night that will go down as a Timberwolves Target Center classic.

125. 125. 86. Final. 124

The Minnesota Timberwolves even out their record at 37-37. With just eight games remaining, the Timberwolves begin a very important road trip on Sunday, March 26, as the team will travel to face the Golden State Warriors.

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