'This is what movies is made of' – Towns euphoric at dramatic Timberwolves return
Karl-Anthony Towns marked his return to action with a Hollywood ending as a pair of last-gasp free throws handed the Minnesota Timberwolves a 125-124 win against the Atlanta Hawks.
With 3.6 seconds left on the clock, Towns had ice in his veins as he made both his shots to put Minnesota decisively ahead.
There was still time left for Atlanta's Saddiq Ben to be impeded by Taurean Prince, but a foul was not given, with a game official reportedly later saying that was an error.
That could have seen Towns denied his returning glory, having featured for the first time since November 28.
Sidelined by a calf strain for almost four months, the first pick in the 2015 NBA Draft scored 22 points in his comeback game on 8-of-18 shooting.
"This is what movies is made of," Towns said in an on-court interview with Bally Sports. "Four months away, two free throws, don't worry about it, I got that!"
In a later press conference, the 27-year-old thanked coach Chris Finch for backing him.
Towns was the player fouled to set up the game-winning chance, trusting himself to get the job done.
"I was smiling a lot just in my mind," Towns said. "On the court I probably didn't show it, but even before I got the ball with seven seconds left I was smiling.
"I just had a good feeling that the game was going to go the way I wanted it to, so the play was immediately drawn up for me.
"Finch looked at me with everyone around and said, 'You're going to get the ball, and it's yours to take home'.
"So shout out to Finch having that confidence in me after 51 games [out of action] and all the things I've had to deal with."
Towns added: "When I went up there for two free throws I looked back and he was telling people, 'He ain't missing, I'm telling you that right now', and I just knew in my bones I wasn't going to miss.
"I've worked too hard on my game. I've been in those moments too many times.
"I got told I didn't have one fast heartbeat at all. I felt pretty confident, I felt pretty calm. I feel like I had that Jaden McDaniels demeanour up there, and I was just going up and making those shots."