It’s not going to do anybody any good now, a day late and a win short. But for the record:
Karl-Anthony Towns was not out of bounds when he hit a three-pointer that would have put the Timberwolves three points up on Indiana in Friday’s 116-114 loss to the Pacers.
That’s what the NBA’s 2-minute report said. The score was tied 114-114 when Towns hit the shot, only to have it waved off because the official deemed his heel was out of bounds.
Considering only one basket — by Indiana — was scored over the game’s final 76 seconds, it shows how game-turning that call might have been.
Before Saturday’s game against Toronto, Wolves coach Ryan Saunders tried hard to avoid any controversy.
“I mean, everybody makes mistakes,” he said. “It hurts, because that’s a big play for us. We feel we did enough to feel good after that game. So we obviously wish it had gone the other way. Hey, that’s the league.”
The 2-minute report also said Towns should have been the beneficiary of a foul on T.J. Warren that wasn’t called with just over 16 seconds left, right after Malcolm Brogdon scored for the Pacers.
“It doesn’t make you feel any better today,” Saunders said. “I know that. Like I said, I don’t do things perfect, players don’t do everything perfect. Nothing is perfect in this league. You appreciate the transparency, but I didn’t feel great this morning.”
For the record, there wasn’t much Saunders could do about it; coaches aren’t allowed to challenge a call in the final two minutes.
Back to back-to-backs
Yes, the latter part of the 15-game stretch Towns missed had more to do with an illness than his sprained left knee.
Still, it was a sign the knee is doing well that Towns — who played 28 minutes in his return to action Friday — was able to play, right away, on the back end of back-to-back games.
“It’s a credit to him and it’s a credit to our medical staff, the fact that we came right out with a back-to-back,” Saunders said. “We were able to keep him at a certain number [of minutes] last night and he was able to be productive, to be effective, and have him go tonight.”
Productive? Towns scored 27 points in 28:05 at Indiana.
“He looked like he didn’t miss a beat,” Saunders said. “Especially early in the game, with the scoring run he went on.”
Sick of being sick?
Given the games lost by both Towns and Andrew Wiggins because of illness, it seemed almost unfair that Allen Crabbe — acquired in the trade that sent Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham to Atlanta — was unable to make his Wolves debut Saturday because of illness.
Seems like the Wolves could use a break.
“It’d be nice,” Saunders said. “But hey, I just look at the day and look at who’s with us, what’s in front of us and move forward.”
• Friday was the 60th anniversary of the night a Minneapolis Lakers flight from St. Louis hit a snowstorm and nearly crashed. Pilot Harold Gifford managed to land the plane in a cornfield, with no injuries, near Carroll, Iowa. Gifford, now 96, was at Saturday’s game. Raptors coach Nick Nurse is from Carroll and spent some time talking with Gifford.
• Saturday was Gorgui Dieng’s 30th birthday.