If timing is everything, the end of Karl-Anthony Towns’ franchise-record streak for consecutive three-pointers made could have been better.
That streak ended at 10 — one more than Martell Webster had in 2011 — with a three-pointer that could have won Friday night’s game at Chicago. He missed, then Jimmy Butler missed as well before the buzzer sounded, and a homecoming of sorts for Butler, Taj Gibson and Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau fell one point short of celebration.
“I’m not too confident,” Towns said dryly Sunday. “I felt 11 was a number I wanted to reach.”
When the defense collapsed around Butler, he passed to Towns. Afterward, Butler said he trusted Towns to make that shot just as much as Butler would trust himself to make it.
Towns said he trusts himself, too.
“I’ve always been confident in myself,” Towns told reporters before Sunday night’s 111-106 victory over Sacramento at Target Center. “I think anyone who has followed my career — you guys know this as much as anybody — knows I’m extremely confident in everything I do. No matter if I missed that three or made that three, I’ll still have the same confidence coming into tonight.
“I work tremendously hard on my craft every single day and I know I put my mind toward my job every single day. I have no doubts about what I can do when I step on the court.”
A 7-footer, Towns leads a team that is among the NBA’s last in three-point categories with 89 made this season and a 42.2 percentage. He went 2-for-7 on three-pointers Sunday on his way to finishing with 29 points.
“It opens up everything for us,” Thibodeau said about Towns’ three-point shooting. “The way he can shoot the ball just opens up the whole floor for everybody. We want him to shoot ’em when he’s open. I think he has a good rhythm on them. We don’t want him hesitating. He’s shooting the ball great.”
Waiting on waivers
Point guard Derrick Rose will clear waivers late Monday afternoon if an NBA team doesn’t claim him by then. The Wolves could reunite him with Thibodeau either by claiming him outright or signing him if he clears, provided Washington or another team doesn’t woo him first.
Either way, they would get a former league MVP with a long history of injuries, playing on a veteran’s minimum contract.
When asked, hypothetically, why a team wouldn’t just claim a player outright if the cost is basically the same, Thibodeau said: “You may have a situation in which a player may not want to be there. There are other factors you have to weight as well.”
Unusual kind of ‘T’
Thibodeau was asked Sunday if he contacted the league offices after he was called for a technical foul Friday because he screamed at Towns, his own player.
“I’ll keep that private,” he said.
Gibson has seen just about everything in all his time with Thibodeau, but the veteran forward had never seen that.
“He was just trying to tell Karl to play a little tougher,” Gibson said. “The ref was paying attention to the wrong thing. He saw Thibs and gave Thibs a ‘T.’ That’s rare, because the refs understand Thibs and his antics. They understand how he’s coaching.”
• Sacramento waived veteran forward Joe Johnson on Sunday, three days after they acquired him in a trade with Utah. That cleared the way for Johnson to sign with Houston, which visits Target Center on Tuesday.
• Wolves starting point guard Jeff Teague when asked what he thinks about Rose becoming a teammate: “Nothing. He’s a good player.”
• Forgive 37-year-old guard Jamal Crawford if he felt a bit younger Sunday. The Kings’ 41-year-old Vince Carter was on the floor.