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Wolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns is showing more elevation of late

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns isn’t the highlight factory teammate Anthony Edwards is. Nor does he live at the rim like fellow tower Rudy Gobert.

But Towns has provided a couple of reminders this week that he, too, can throw it down. Towns had his most thunderous dunk in recent memory in Orlando, when he rolled off a screen, took a pocket pass from Mike Conley and hammered it home over Magic center Mo Wagner.

And then there was Friday’s bout in Portland when, in a similar situation, Towns muscled by Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson before dunking over Jabari Walker.

Heading into Sunday’s contest with the Los Angeles Clippers, Towns was up to 19 dunks this season — which is tied for 89th-most in the NBA. That number ranks fourth on Minnesota’s roster. Rudy Gobert has 120 dunks this season, which trails only Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (127) for the league lead. For reference, Anthony Davis is third with 91 flushes.

Edwards has 29 dunks, while Naz Reid has thrown down on 23 occasions.

“I haven’t been like Rudy this year, but I’ve done my job trying to show my athleticism here and there,” Towns said. “I’m not the 21-year-old, but I definitely pick and choose my spots.”

Let it fly, big man

Towns’ lack of 3-point volume has been a cause of consternation among Wolves fans this season. The 4.7 3-point attempts per game would mark Towns’ fewest since the 2018-19 season. The following campaign, Towns took 7.9 triple tries per game, then 6.3. The number of outside attempts has been on a steady decline ever since, even as teammates and coaches continue to urge Towns to let it fly.

Maybe the message is sinking in. Towns attempted just three triples against Portland — he made all of them — but that was in a game in which the Wolves were in total control throughout.

In the three games prior to that, Towns averaged seven 3-point attempts per game. That’s a number everyone would get behind.

“Yeah, we need KAT to shoot 10 threes,” Conley said. “Being a 7-footer, you can get your shot over anybody, and the contest doesn’t really matter. We’re just trying to get him to look to do it more, look to be aggressive and look to get his number called a little bit more. It just makes us more of a threat when he’s aggressive.”

Quick transition?

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch was asked after Friday’s victory over Portland if it’s difficult making an immediate transition of going from playing the Blazers — who are currently maybe the worst team in basketball — to the Clippers, who are perhaps currently the hottest team in the NBA.

“I don’t know if it’s any more challenging than any other stretch you come into on your schedule,” Finch said. “I think, of course, there’s things where you always want to be sharper and better, no matter who you’re playing.