Breaking down Towns’ matchup with Utah’s Gobert

Everyone tuning into Minnesota’s matchup with the Utah Jazz on Friday night will be watching for a Ricky Rubio revenge game.

The Spaniard, who the Timberwolves traded away to Utah in the offseason in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick, will get a third chance at defeating his old franchise after losing 100-97 in October and 109-98 in November.

But the real basketball nerds will have their eyes down low, as Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns goes head-to-head against another elite NBA center, Rudy Gobert.

The two have squared off eight times since Towns was drafted in 2015, and Gobert has won six of them. But Towns has the upper hand in the last two — and on the score sheet as well.

The 22-year-old All-Star is averaging 21.6 points and 12.4 rebounds per game against Gobert, compared to his 11.5 points and 11.6 boards. Gobert, however, has the upper hand in blocks and field-goal percentage.

Karl-Anthony Towns Rudy Gobert Wins 2 6 Points/Gm 21.6 11.5 Rebounds/Gm 12.4 11.6 Blocks/Gm 1 2.9 FG Pct. .528 .623

Towns is coming off one of his best games this season Thursday night against the Trail Blazers when he tallied 35 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks in the loss.

Gobert, on the other hand, has scored double digit points in his last seven games — his best stretch this season — and has recorded a double-double in seven of the last 10 contests.

NOTABLE

— Only the New York Knicks (7.8) make fewer 3-pointers per game than the Timberwolves (7.9).

— Wiggins has scored 20+ points in each of the past four games, shooting 47.8 percent from the field in those contests.

— When playing on the second night of a back-to-back, Minnesota’s Jeff Teague is averaging 17.4 points on 51.6 percent shooting this season.

— Utah has the NBA’s second-best point differential in the fourth quarter (+1.6). The Timberwolves have the NBA’s worst (-1.4).

Statistics courtesy STATS

Source Article