The odds are still stacked against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2024 Western Conference finals. They still have no room left for a loss versus the Dallas Mavericks and history remains very much against them. But at the very least, whatever happens the rest of the way (or on Friday), the Timberwolves made sure there wouldn’t be a sweep happening at their expense in this round of the playoffs – thanks in large part to Karl-Anthony Towns waking up from a deep offensive slumber many thought he’d never emerge from until next season.

With the season on the line and against the backdrop of all the ridicule he’s been getting from the mainstream down to the most pathetic of internet trolls on social media. Towns delivered the goods for the Timberwolves in Game 4. Behind his hot shooting, especially in the fourth quarter, Towns helped Minnesota staved off another collapse late in regulation. 

Towns scored 10 points in the final period, hitting three of four attempts from behind the arc and going 2/5 from the free throw line. When it was all over, Towns had gathered a total of 25 points on 9/13 shooting from the floor with a 4/5 line from the 3-point region and a perfect 3/3 performance from the charity stripe. He only grabbed five rebounds and committed six personal fouls, but what mattered the most for the Timberwolves was that Towns proved that he still existed and was capable of making it rain when Minnesota needed such an offensive onslaught from him the most.

Before Game 4, Towns put up just an average of 15.0 points on a ghastly 27.8 field goal percentage from Games 1 to 3 of the Mavericks series. That was heavily weighed down by his vomit-inducing 13.6 percent success rate on his 3-point attempts over the same stretch.

But that’s now behind Towns. All that’s important now is that he’s seemingly recaptured his shooting back – as well as some measure of respect from among his biggest critics.

“Also, listen, and Shaq talks about it. Karl-Anthony Towns played ball tonight, NBA legend Charles Barkley said after the Timberwolves’ 105-100 in Game 4.

“We can talk about this and this and this, Dallas had the lead going. But Karl-Anthony Towns, we’ve been waiting on him. Shaq’s been saying it, ‘Your stars have to play like stars’. He’s been awful in the series, plain and simple. He saved the Timberwolves season tonight. So just give him his flowers, he deserves it. We criticize him, he doesn’t play well, we gotta give him his flowers.”

Perhaps even more important for Towns is that his explosion in Game 4 meant that another ex-Kentucky Wildcats star is now the new butt of jokes by the Inside the NBA guys.