The first time Malik Beasley played with Karl-Anthony Towns, he hit 7 three-pointers in a win over the Clippers shortly after Beasley came to the Wolves in a trade last season.
After another game against Toronto, Towns didn't play again the rest of last season.
The Wolves played Toronto again Sunday night in Tampa, Fla., and the Beasley-Towns connection proved to be a fruitful one again, with Beasley hitting another six threes on his way to 20 points as the Wolves beat the Raptors 116-112.
Towns has been back in the lineup for three games and Beasley shot 17-for-34 from deep over that stretch. Beasley had been struggling on the road, but he hit seven threes on Friday against Charlotte and six Sunday. Beasley's play has been one of the most consistent things the Wolves can expect night in and night out, but he has been parlaying the attention Towns has been getting into a chance to step up his shooting even more.
The Raptors seemed to throw as many bodies possible as they could against Towns on some possessions and double teams were a frequent sight. But Beasley took advantage. With his 6 of 10 performance from deep Sunday, Beasley is now over 40% from three-point range on the year.
Towns raved about Beasley's game afterward.
"I haven't played with a shooter like this in a long time," Towns said. " 'Beas' is really hot right now and he's playing at a high level not only shooting-wise, but 'Beas' doesn't get enough credit for how great he is at finishing at the basket. He's doing an amazing job on all levels."
Towns said you can see the confidence "flowing" for Beasley and the Wolves have to do all they can to get him the ball more often.
"If he's going to keep going 6-for-10 from three in games … we need to find ways to get you the ball more at the 3-point line and let you let that ball fly," Towns said. "He gives us a chance every night to win. We just got to feed off that energy and feed off the talent he has."
Towns also said Beasley's shooting threat is opening up the court for him. This is what the Wolves had intended when trading for him last season.
"Then his ability to shoot gives me comfortability knowing that any time he's on the court he could light three of them in a row up," Towns said.