StaTuesday: Wolves’ KAT roars into another All-Star Game

Just a few hours after hitting a game-winning 14-footer to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a shocking win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Karl-Anthony Towns became an All-Star once more.

Towns was named a reserve Friday, and celebrated the following night with his customary double-double: 31 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a heartbreaking loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Also: he ended poor Mason Plumee with an eye-popping one-handed slam.

Maybe he was working through some things.

Towns struggled in the fan vote this season, finishing 11th in the Western Conference frontcourt with 501,401 votes.

DeMarcus Cousins — who has played just seven games this season — was 10th with 691,722 votes.

Kyle Kuzma, frequently linked to New Orleans as part of a potential Anthony Davis trade, finished in eighth with more than 1.15 million.

Fortunately, the fans only account for 50 percent of the voting process

Current players and a media panel each account for 25 percent of the process, which means that Towns has plenty of fans amongst his peers and folks who cover the league.

Towns finished ninth in the final vote for the Western Conference frontcourt, behind Draymond Green, Steven Adams, Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic and Anthony Davis, as well as starters Paul George, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

One reason for that: He’s a double-double machine.

His performance against the Grizzlies was his 216th double-double since entering the league in 2015.

Only Andre Drummond has more over that span.

Player Count
Andre Drummond 218
Karl-Anthony Towns 216
Russell Westbrook 210
Anthony Davis 167
DeAndre Jordan 167
Rudy Gobert 152
Hassan Whiteside 152
Dwight Howard 147
James Harden 140
LeBron James 140
Giannis Antetokounmpo 132
DeMarcus Cousins 132
Nikola Vucevic 132
Nikola Jokic 128
John Wall 128

Motivated by either the prospect of an All-Star appearance or the ascension of interim head coach Ryan Saunders, Towns has been on a tear in recent weeks.

He’s averaging 25.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals in 11 games since Saunders’ promotion, while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from deep.

He’s already in fairly rarified air for a Wolves star.

The Wolves have just three multi-time All-Stars in their history: Towns, Kevin Love and Kevin Garnett.

Love made it three times with Minnesota, in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2013-14.

Garnett racked up 10 of his 15 All-Star nods while with the Wolves, first making it during the 1996-97 season, his second in the NBA.

He made it again during the 1997-98 season, and was then named to eight consecutive All-Star Games from 2000-07, a streak that continued through 2011 once he left Minnesota.

Towns made his first appearance in the All-Star Game last season, alongside former teammate Jimmy Butler.

I wonder what he’s up to these days.