NBA Playoffs: Karl-Anthony Towns’ shooting woes continue in Western Conference Finals

Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is having a historically difficult start to the Western Conference finals. After another rough night from Towns in the Wolves’ 116-107 Game 3 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, there was no sugarcoating it from his coach, Chris Finch.

“He struggled, of course,” Finch said after Towns scored 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting, including going 0-for-8 from 3 as Minnesota dropped to one game away from elimination. “It was hard to watch at times.

Finch might have wanted to cover his eyes the most in the fourth quarter, when Towns went scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting (0-for-3 from 3) as Minnesota was outscored 14-3 in the final five minutes.

“I’ve got to laugh,” Towns said afterward. “I’m putting up to 1,500 shots a day. Shot so well all playoffs, confidence extremely high. To be having these unfortunate bounces and these looks that are just not going in, it’s tough. It’s tough, for sure. I’m good confidencewise. Just got to keep shooting.”

Towns, who was benched for nearly the last nine minutes of the Wolves’ Game 2 loss in Minneapolis, is now shooting 27.8% for the series. That mark is the fourth-worst field goal percentage by any player through the first three games of a conference or divisional finals in the shot clock era, according to ESPN Stats & Information data.

“I think KAT’s got to just do a better job of maybe getting back to his old self, of finding himself around the basket more,” Wolves reserve Kyle Anderson said. “Rim running, taking advantage of mismatches. He’s obviously a really good player, and he’s big-time for us, so we need him to get going. So, it’s our job to put him in the right position. The 3s will fall.”

The sky has indeed eventually fallen on every other team in league history to go down 3-0, as they are 0-154 all time in that situation.

“It’s first to four,” Wolves backup big man Naz Reid said. “I don’t think we’re worried.

“If anybody can win four straight, I think it would be us.”

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