Karl-Anthony Towns of Wolves scores 27 in return to action

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INDIANAPOLIS – Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, back in the starting lineup after missing 15 games due to a left knee injury, had 27 points Friday night, but Minnesota lost 116-114 to the Indiana Pacers

Coach Ryan Saunders, who told reporters before the game that the Timberwolves would limit Towns’ minutes and closely monitor his fatigue level, limited the All-Star twice to 28 minutes on the floor.

The cities finished 9 of 21 from the field with three triples.

“He hasn’t played for a while, so you have to consider all those things,” Saunders said before the game. “You always want to have a complete complement of players, and when you have a guy who is as productive as KAT, you always want that guy.”

Minnesota left 5-10 without towns.

Towns averages 26.5 points and 11.4 rebounds and shoots 50.9% from the field, all team highs. It also has an average of 4.3 assists, the highest among the players on the current list after Thursday’s exchange, which sent Jeff Teague to Atlanta.

The Timberwolves were without guard Allen Crabbe, whom they recovered from Atlanta. Saunders said Crabbe was expected to join the team on Saturday in Minneapolis.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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