Before the Timberwolves’ 126-114 victory at Target Center on Wednesday, Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer called Karl-Anthony Towns a “unique” player because of his ability to score at his size from nearly anywhere on the court.
And until a couple of hours later, he perhaps really had no true idea …
Towns’ 56 points set the Wolves franchise scoring record. His night included six three-pointers on eight attempts, and he also made three free throws when he was fouled on a fourth-quarter attempt.
“To go 6-for-8 at his size is just impressive,” Budenholzer said. “Then he gets fouled on a three-point shot and that’s 21 points right just outside the three-point line for a guy that’s 6-10, 6-11, 7-0, whatever he is. Around the basket, on the offensive boards, he was good, too. He scored a lot of different ways. Impressive, no doubt.”
Despite Towns’ performance, Budenholzer praised his players’ efforts to stop Towns. Starting center Dewayne Dedmon, Mike Muscala and Tyler Cavanaugh all tried — without much luck.
“You know, as a coaching staff, we should adjust, do something different,” Budenholzer said. “But I’m proud of the way our guys competed.”
A Target Center audience announced at 16,183 cheered Towns with every shot — particularly every three-pointer — as he approached 50 points.
Except when he passed up a shot with Muscala closing fast on him and shoveled a short pass to Jeff Teague, who made a three that put the Wolves up 121-108 with 2:08 left. The crowd exhaled its disapproval until Teague sank his shot.
“Yeah, that was the right play,” Towns said. “I knew the crowd was not going to like hearing that or seeing that. But that was the right play. Hard closeout, got [Isaiah] Taylor to bite on a pump fake. He was wide open. That was the right play, a good shot turned into a great shot.”