StaTuesday: Karl-Anthony Towns pushes for All-Star bid with historic game
But Towns, who made his first career All-Star Game last season in Los Angeles, has been playing like an All-Star of late — and then some.
In Minnesota’s nine games since Dec. 28, Towns is averaging 28.3 points, 16.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.1 blocks and one steal per contest. He’s racked up at least 27 points in eight of those and leads the NBA in rebounds and blocks in that span.
One of those games will not be forgotten any time soon.
In a tight 110-106 win over Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, Towns tallied 27 points on 10-of-23 shooting (43.5 percent) while recording a career-high 27 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals.
“Twenty-seven rebounds mean you’re really playing to win,” Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders said in his postgame press conference. “He understands this was a win we needed against a team we’re going to be fighting against for playoff positioning.”
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The 27 rebounds were the second-most in Timberwolves single-game history, bested only by Kevin Love’s 31 boards during a monster performance against the New York Knicks in 2010. Kevin Garnett (twice) and Al Jefferson are the only other two Timberwolves to record 25+ rebounds in a single game.
But really, you could argue Towns had one of the best all-around games in Wolves history.
He’s the only player on the list below to record multiple assists, steals and blocks while tallying the 27 points and 27 boards.
Games with 25+ rebounds in Timberwolves history
|Kevin Love||Nov. 12, 2010||Knicks||31||31||5||1|
|Karl-Anthony Towns||Jan. 12, 2019||Pelicans||27||27||3||4|
|Al Jefferson||Jan. 13, 2010||Rockets||26||26||1||1|
|Kevin Garnett||Dec. 5, 2003||Kings||25||33||6||3|
|Kevin Garnett||Jan. 12, 2005||Magic||25||19||8||1|
Towns’ 27-27 stat line against New Orleans has a place in NBA history, as well.
He’s just the fourth player this century to tally 27+ points and 27+ rebounds in a single game, joining Love, Detroit’s Andre Drummond and Dwight Howard, when the latter had a cup of coffee with Charlotte last season.
Just three other players have put up similar games since 1980. Moses Malone did it twice, once with Houston and again in Philadelphia, and Kevin Willis and Dikembe Mutombo both achieved the feat while playing in Atlanta.
Games with 27+ points and 27+ rebounds in NBA since 1980
|Karl-Anthony Towns, Wolves||2019||27||27||3||2||4|
|Dwight Howard, Hornets||2018||32||30||1||0||0|
|Andre Drummond, Pistons||2015||29||27||0||2||3|
|Kevin Love, Wolves||2010||31||31||5||0||1|
|Dikembe Mutombo, Hawks||1999||27||29||3||0||6|
|Kevin Willis, Hawks||1991||29||31||3||3||0|
|Moses Malone, 76ers||1984||32||27||1||0||1|
|Moses Malone, Rockets||1982||38||32||2||3||0|
A stat line of 27+ points and 27+ rebounds occurred 24 different times in the 1970s, with Elvin Hayes (five times), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (four) and Wilt Chamberlain (four) responsible for most of the damage.
That’s some good company for young Towns – company worth an All-Star vote, no doubt.
Follow this link to get Towns to the All-Star Game — the polls close Jan. 21 at 10:59 p.m.