Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns had 35 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's 117-112 win over the Toronto Raptors, thus joining Christian Laettner as the only rookies in franchise history to record 35-plus points and double-digit rebounds in one game, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Already enjoying one of the best rookie seasons in NBA history, the 20-year-old big man out of the University of Kentucky scorched the Raptors for his second career 30-point performance, topping a 32-point effort from Jan. 29 in a 103-90 loss to the Utah Jazz.
Interestingly enough, Towns' two biggest scoring outings have come in two of his toughest matchups, with the Jazz ranking third in points allowed per game (96.4) and the Raptors ranking fifth (97.4).
For some, the real surprise is that Towns joined Laettner, rather than Kevin Garnett, as the only players in franchise history to go for 35 and 10 during their rookie campaigns.
Arguably the poster boy for the "prep-to-pro" movement, KG produced modest averages of 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds as a rookie before stepping up to 17.0 points and 8.0 boards the next year.
Towns is now at 17.1 points and 10.1 boards, with numbers far better than that over the past few weeks.
Laettner, the third overall selection in the 1992 NBA draft, had a similarly productive rookie season with 18.2 points and 8.7 boards per game.
Of course, Laettner represents the cautionary tale of a player who enters the league having already maximized his full potential, as he's now remembered for his illustrious college career far more than his 13-year run in the pros.
Given the extent of his in-season improvement—not to mention his elite combination of skill, size, athleticism and basketball IQ—Towns is likely headed for Garnett's path rather than Laettner's.