Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns selected to 3rd NBA All-Star Game

Karl-Anthony Towns (32) of the Minnesota Timberwolves backs down Aaron Gordon (50) of the Denver Nuggets during the first quarter on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.  ((Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images))

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns is headed to the NBA All-Star Game for the third time in his career, and first time since the 2019 season.

The NBA announced the league’s All-Star reserves Thursday night, and Towns was named to the Western Conference squad along with Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green, Donovan Mitchell and Chris Paul.

The Timberwolves (26-25) are in Detroit to face the Pistons Thursday night, and cameras caught Towns’ father, Karl Towns, getting the news and doing a video call with family. With Towns leading the way, the Timberwolves have already won more games than last season, with 31 still left to play. The Timberwolves have finished a season with 26 or fewer wins eight times since Kevin Garnett led the franchise to the Western Conference Finals in 2004.

Towns joins Garnett and Kevin Love as the only players in franchise history to be selected to the All-Star Game at least three times. Towns had 11 points and three rebounds playing for Team LeBron in 2019. In 2018, he had 17 points and 10 rebounds at the Staples Center.

In 44 starts this season, Towns is averaging 24.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. He’s shooting nearly 52 percent from the field, and 40.9 percent from the perimeter. He’s the only player in the NBA to average more than 20 points per game while shooting at least 50 percent from the field, and 40 percent from three-point range.

Since returning from COVID-19 protocols on Jan. 5, he is averaging 24.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game over a 14-game stretch. The Timberwolves are 9-5 over that stretch.

The 2022 NBA All-Star Game will be played at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland on Sunday, Feb. 20.