Karl-Anthony Towns wanted to give Kevin Garnett special birthday present ahead of Game 7 vs. Nuggets

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns shared that he wanted to give Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett a special birthday present ahead of Game 7 of the second round against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

“I was talking to K.G. about visualizing success, visualizing celebration,” Towns told Andscape. “Visualize the moves you want to make, the places I want to score and where to get to. I will keep our conversation to us, but I will say I wanted to give him a special birthday present. We’ve been brothers forever since I got here …

“He told me, ‘A great person was born on this day [May 19], so it would not be surprising to do something great.’ That’s really good, Kev. I know who was born today. You.”

Garnett, who was the centerpiece of the Timberwolves’ success in the early 2000s when they last made the Western Conference Finals during the 2003-04 season, was a veteran on the Timberwolves when Towns was first drafted.

In fact, Towns’ rookie season – after he was taken No. 1 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft – ended up being Garnett’s last in the NBA.

Towns and the Timberwolves gave Garnett and the Timberwolves faithful something to cheer about on Sunday, erasing a 20-point deficit to defeat Denver 98-90 and advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Minnesota trailed by 15 points at halftime, but it held Denver to just 37 points in the second half to pull off a comeback win. Now, the Timberwolves will take on the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals with a chance to make the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

“Our team is jelling. You don’t get many opportunities to be with a team like this, so you have to capitalize on it,” Towns said. “We are hungry right now, but we obviously got work to do.

“It’s good to celebrate and have these moments. You never know what is going to happen. We made it to the Western Conference finals. Second time we’ve ever done it. Why not enjoy it?”

Towns had a solid game on Sunday, scoring a team-high (tied with Jaden McDaniels) 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. The former No. 1 overall pick added 12 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in the win.

During the regular season, the Wolves had the No. 1 defensive rating in the NBA, and they showed why in Game 7, keeping most of the Nuggets out of double figures in the scoring column. In fact, only Jamal Murray (35 points) and Nikola Jokic (34 points) scored 10 or more points on Sunday.

Towns and the Timberwolves will look to keep their magical postseason run going in Game 1 against Dallas on Wednesday, May 22.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.