Towns missed the past six games with a left wrist injury suffered in a Dec. 27 win over the Utah Jazz.
The Timberwolves lost those six games without Towns by an average margin of 20 points, sorely lacking his production in the post as well as his rim protection. They also played a sixth straight game without Josh Okogie (strained left hamstring) guarding the perimeter, another factor in their league-worst defensive rating of 118 points allowed per 100 possessions.
Towns wore a grimace as he worked through the lingering discomfort. After easing in early, making a 3-pointer on his only shot attempt of the first quarter, Towns found his groove. He had 12 points in a nine-minute stretch of the third quarter and finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists in 37 minutes.
Minnesota’s star big man said after the game he was initially told the timeline for his return was six to eight weeks. “I rushed back at hyper-speed,” Towns said.
Towns, 25, is averaging 21 points, 12 rebounds and 4.7 assists across three games this season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.