It turns out that he was fouled twice. That's according to the NBA, which concluded Tuesday that officials missed a whopping 10 calls in the final two minutes of Monday's game between the Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Hornets rallied from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to spoil a would-be marquee night for Towns, who matched his career high and tied his own Timberwolves franchise record with 62 points. He had a chance to break the record and take a lead for Minnesota in the final five seconds of the game.
The 7-foot Towns posted up 6-foot-1 Terry Rozier above the free-thrown line with the Hornets leading 126-125 and the game clock ticking below 7 seconds. He spun and attacked the basket, only to lose control of the ball in a crowd of Hornets defenders.
KAT WAS NOT HAPPY WITH THE NO CALL HERE 😳 pic.twitter.com/Z1Xi96xsPC
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 23, 2024
Towns pleaded for a whistle that didn't come. The Hornets went on to ice the game with a pair of free throws on the other end.
Per the NBA's last-two-minute report released Tuesday, Towns was fouled on the gather by Rozier and again on the shot by Leaky Black, who the league concluded illegally swiped Towns on the arm on his drive to the basket.
Those two were among 10 calls that the NBA determined officials missed in the final 1:57 of game time. Six of those missed calls favored the Hornets, including the two on the pivotal late drive by Towns. The NBA also determined that officials missed two travels and two personal fouls that weren't called on Charlotte.
Other missed calls included assigning a called personal foul to the wrong Hornets player and three incorrect non-calls on fouls committed by the Timberwolves.
None of this is to excuse Minnesota's collapse in a performance head coach Chris Finch lambasted as "disgusting" and "immature."
The Hornets had already erased their 15-point deficit and turned it into a 126-121 advantage by the time those mismanaged last two minutes started to tick down. The Timberwolves had already blown what should've been a celebratory night for Towns by devolving it into a misguided chase for individual glory.
The Timberwolves lost this game. The officials didn't lose it for them.
Also true: The officials have got to do a better job.