Karl-Anthony Towns' career night helps Wolves keep pace in playoff race

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns turned in a career night Wednesday. The performance couldn't have come at a more crucial time for his team.

Karl-Anthony Towns' career night helps Wolves keep pace in playoff race

Karl-Anthony Towns' career night helps Wolves keep pace in playoff race

The 22-year-old center scored a franchise-record 56 points and added 15 rebounds in Minnesota's 126-114 win over Atlanta. Towns was 19 for 32 from the field and connected on six of his eight 3-point attempts.

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The 56 points eclipsed the 52 Mo Williams scored for the Wolves on Jan. 13, 2015.

The Wolves (43-33) entered the day with a 1 1/2-game lead over the Clippers for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. They've been struggling since losing Jimmy Butler (torn meniscus) in late February. On Monday, they suffered a home loss to the Grizzlies, their fourth loss in six games. Towns finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds on 38.5 percent shooting from the field that night.

With another lottery-bound opponent visiting the Target Center on Wednesday, Towns had to improve upon his Monday performance to help the Wolves avoid another letdown. He more than did that, and he did so in historic fashion:





The win helped Minnesota maintain its advantage over LA (the Clippers won in Phoenix), and it also moved the Wolves to a half-game behind the Pelicans for the West's fifth seed. With just two weeks remaining in the NBA's regular season, the victory — and Towns' record performance — might be just what they need to get to the finish line.

This article has been corrected to show the Clippers played Wednesday night.

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