SALT LAKE CITY – Karl-Anthony Towns fouled out again in the Timberwolves’ 120-100 loss to the Jazz. Towns committed three offensive fouls, including a flagrant one against Donovan Mitchell, as he exited the game with 4:13 to play.
To interim coach Ryan Saunders, Towns’ foul trouble came about because of his aggressiveness and desire to make something happen late in the game, but said Towns could have avoided some of his fouls.
He added he thought Towns has done a “better job” of avoiding foul trouble of late.
“This is a tough defense in a lot of ways and they can definitely frustrate you at times if you’re not going to get to your usual spots on things,” Saunders said.
Towns entered the night tied for first in the NBA with 3.8 fouls per game. It marked the ninth time he fouled. You can see Towns’ frustration after he gets a call against him, but after the game he’s always weary of getting fined and doesn’t usually criticize officials.
“Things happen. Can’t control that,” Towns said. “I just went out there and tried to be aggressive.”
But he has been doing better staying out of trouble. It’s one reason why his scoring numbers have improved since the All-Star break (he’s averaging 34 points per game).
Towns fouled out once in October and November before fouling out three times in December. He fouled out once in January, once in February and this marks his second foul out in March.
The ‘highest standard of deceny’
Before Thursday’s game, Jazz owner Gail Miller stood at halfcourt and delivered a nearly four-minute statement in response to an incident that happened at Utah’s previous home game. The Jazz banned a fan for life after directing offensive language toward Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. Miller took the floor to tell fans they should hold themselves to the “highest standard of decency.”
“This should never happen,” Miller said. “We are not a racist community. We believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings. … We have a code of conduct in this arena. It will be strictly enforced.”
The crowd gave Miller a standing ovation while both teams also stood and applauded.
Interim coach Ryan Saunders talked about the incident with the Wolves.
“We always want to keep our composure with things and there’s always some, in any situation, there’s people that ruin it for other good people … ” Saunders said. “I wanted to make it clear too that we support our players and that we’re always with them.”
Andrew Wiggins made his return to the lineup after missing three games because of a left quad contusion. Wiggins finished with 14 points on 6 of 17 shooting.
“It kind of was tough just getting my touch back,” Wiggins said. “I feel like I was a little tired. I got tired a little early, and I was just fighting through it.”