Jahlil Okafor wins rookie duel with Karl-Anthony Towns

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Jahlil Okafor clearly got the best of Karl-Anthony Towns in their first rookie showdown. | AP

While his 76ers are suffering through one of the worst starts in NBA history, rookie Jahlil Okafor has been off to a terrific start.

The No. 3 pick of the draft has seen more losing in his first few weeks than he did in his last three years at Duke and Whitney Young.

However, in an early rookie showdown with Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, the NBA’s overall No. 1 pick, Okafor scored a personal victory.

On Monday in Minnesota, Okafor had 25 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks, both on Towns. The Wolves’ rookie got into early foul trouble trying to guard Okafor and managed just six points and two rebounds in 19 minutes.

From Chip Scoggins of the Star-Tribune:

If judged by a single-game knee-jerk snapshot Monday, the Wolves turned in the wrong name. If examined more reasonably through a longer lens, the Wolves got it right in selecting Towns. Round 1 belonged to Okafor, though. In a landslide. In the first pro matchup between Towns and Okafor, the No. 3 overall pick, the guy the Wolves passed on played like he wanted to prove a point.

For the season, Okafor is averaging 18.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks; Towns is averaging 15.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.

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