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Towns returns to lineup vs. Hawks

Jordan Johnson / National Basketball Association / Getty

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns made his return Friday against the Atlanta Hawks.

Towns, who had been out since March 4 with a torn meniscus, was cleared for full-contact practices Tuesday.

Minnesota's matchup against the Hawks is its second-last game of the regular season.

The Timberwolves are now tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 2 seed after Wednesday's loss to the Denver Nuggets. Minnesota currently holds the fourth tiebreaker over OKC thanks to its better conference record (37-14 to 35-16). The two teams, which play in the Northwest Division with Denver, split their season series 2-2, and both have a division record of 12-4.

Towns averaged 22.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, and three assists while shooting a career-high 42.3% from three (5.3 attempts per game) in 60 starts before he suffered his injury. Minnesota went 12-6 in his absence to stay within reach of the No. 1 seed.

The Timberwolves will need the Nuggets to lose to either the San Antonio Spurs or Memphis Grizzlies in order to overtake Denver. After playing Atlanta, Minnesota will host the Phoenix Suns on the final day of the 2023-24 regular season Sunday.

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