SAN ANTONIO (AP) Karl-Anthony Towns scored a career-high 60 points in the NBA this season, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the San Antonio Spurs 149-139 on Monday night.
Towns shot 19-for-31 and grabbed 17 rebounds in surpassing his previous best of 56 points against Atlanta on March 28, 2018. Lakers star LeBron James and Hawks point guard Trae Young previously shared honors. highest in the league this season with 56 points.
The 7-foot All-Star from Minnesota capped off his dazzling performance by hitting a 3-pointer with 1:39 remaining, shortly after making one of two free throws to score 57 points.
San Antonio has lost two straight since Gregg Popovich earned his 1,336th career win to become the winningest coach in NBA history. The Spurs have lost seven of nine and are 2-3 during a seven-game homestand, the longest of the season.
Spurs forward Keldon Johnson had 34 points, Dejounte Murray added 30 points and 12 assists, and Lonnie Walker IV had 22.
The teams combined for 148 points in the first half, shooting 58 of 100 while playing at a furious pace.
San Antonio opened the game 4-for-5 on 3-pointers, but Minnesota shot 75% from the field through the first seven minutes of the first quarter.
Towns had 14 points and five rebounds while playing the entire first quarter against Jakob Poeltl and Zach Collins.
The game got tricky in the third when Wolves guard Patrick Beverley tangled with Murray and Collins on separate possessions. The skirmishes fueled a 16-7 run for the Wolves that gave them a 112-99 lead with 2:30 left in the quarter.
Towns had 56 points in the first three quarters. He sat out with 6:34 remaining in the final period shortly after committing his fourth and fifth fouls in 45 seconds, but returned to the court with three minutes remaining to set his career record.
Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards scored five points in 30 minutes after being listed as probable with tendinopathy. . Towns’ foul on Poeltl in the third quarter was updated to flagrant 1 after video review. . Towns also inadvertently elbowed teammate Taurean Prince in the bridge of the nose late in the first quarter after the pair tried to recover a missed 3-pointer by Josh Primo. Prince sat on the court for a minute holding his nose, but remained in the game after a timeout. . Beverley started the game and scored 20 points in 30 minutes after being questioned with an ear injury.
Spurs: Murray is the first player in franchise history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season. . Johnson joined Kawhi Leonard as the only players in franchise history with 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 125 3-pointers in a single season. . Doug McDermott missed the game after spraining his right ankle Saturday in the first half of San Antonio’s 11-point loss to Indiana. Popovich isn’t sure how long McDermott will be out, but said he will be out “for a while.” Keita Bates-Diop sat out with back pain after playing eight minutes against the Pacers. He has missed four of five games. . Romeo Langford did not play due to a right hamstring strain.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Timberwolves: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.
Spurs: Host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
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