Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week and Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Dec. 13-19.
It is the first time this season – and the fifth time in Tatum’s career – that he has received the conference’s weekly award.
Tatum produced a team-best 31.3 points on 50.0% shooting (36.1% 3-PT, 86.7% FT), 7.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 38.8 minutes over three home games – including two Boston wins – against Milwaukee, Golden State, and New York. He registered at least 25 points and 5+ rebounds in each of the three contests, including a season-high 42 points on 16-of-25 shooting (7-13 3-PT) in Boston’s 117-103 victory over the Bucks on Dec. 13.
In 30 games this season (all starts), Tatum has averaged 26.2 points (42.3% FG, 33.2% 3-PT, 81.9% FT), a career-high 8.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 36.5 minutes. He has tallied at least 20 points in all nine games played in the month of December, averaging 30.6 points on 48.7% shooting (36.6% 3-PT), 8.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists during that stretch.
This is the fifth time in his career that Towns has won the weekly award (Nov. 20, 2017, April 11, 2016, Mar. 13, 2017 and Oct. 28, 2019). Towns joins Kevin Garnett (15 times) as the only players in Timberwolves history to win the league’s weekly award five or more times.
Towns is the only player in the NBA this season to average 20+ ppg while shooting 50% or better from the field and 40% or better from three. Following the 3-0 week by the Timberwolves, he ranks 12th in the NBA in scoring (24.4 ppg) and tied for 17th in rebounds (9.0 rpg).
The 7-0 center has helped the Timberwolves climb back to .500 on the season, moving to 15-15 after Sunday night’s 111-105 win over the Dallas Mavericks, tied for the second-best 30-game start for the Wolves since 2006-07.
In the Dec. 15 124-107 victory at Denver, Towns scored 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting, while adding four rebounds, four assists and three steals, marking his seventh 30+ point game of the season and extending his franchise record to 85 career games with 30 or more points. With his three-pointer with 6:40 left in the third quarter against the Nuggets, Towns eclipsed 10,000 career points, joining Garnett as the only players in Timberwolves history to score 10,000+ points. He additionally became the first player from the 2015 draft class to notch 10,000 career points.
On Dec. 17 against the Los Angeles Lakers, Towns tallied his 12th 20+ point/10+ rebound game of the season (218th career), finishing with 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Since he entered the league in 2015-16, no other player has registered more 20/10 games.
Towns finished the week on Dec. 19 against the Mavericks, leading the way for the Wolves with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists, accounting for his 24th 20+ point game of the season (292nd career). He shot 11-of-13 from the charity stripe, marking a season-high for free throws made and was his third game of the season tallying 10+ free throws. The stat line also marked Towns’ seventh game of the season with 20+ points/5+ rebounds/5+ assists.