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Game #76: Miami Heat (52-23) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (17-58) -- Open Game Thread

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Miami Heat Game #76
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52-23 17-58
April 1st, 2011
Target Center
8:00 PM
TV: Sun Sports Radio: 790 AM
Probable Starters
Mike Bibby PG Luke Ridnour
Dwyane Wade SG Wesley Johnson
LeBron James SF Michael Beasley
Chris Bosh PF Kevin Love
Erick Dampier C Darko Milicic

Game Preview following the jump...

Coming off of their last ‘road back-to-back' set of the season, the Miami Heat now head north to frigid Minnesota for a meeting with the cellar-dwelling Timberwolves. It's not often where a team will play the bottom 3 teams in the NBA in consecutive games, but that's what the Heat have gotten the chance to do here. Unfortunately for them, they started it off by getting spanked in Cleveland, but a win tonight over the T-Wolves would be a nice way to end the little run of games.

Miami will get their 2nd look at former 1st round pick Michael Beasley tonight. Beasley was shipped to Minnesota the same night that LeBron James announced his decision to bring his talents to South Beach. Beas had to be moved in order to clear up as much money as possible for Pat Riley and Co. to sign the Big 3, so those of you who think the Heat would be better having Beasley coming off the bench on this team...it's a situation that could never have been.

During the first meeting between the Heat and Wolves, Beasley was limited to just 11 minutes after suffering a bruised hip during the 2nd quarter. He was having a pretty successful return to Miami, putting up 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting which included a 3-pointer. It's been a fairly consistent season for Super Cool, but his numbers are slightly down of late. During the T-Wolves current 8-game slide he is averaging 16.8 points and 5.6 rebounds.

GAME NOTES

  • Timberwolves forward Kevin Love returned to the lineup in their last game after missing the previous three with a strained groin.
  • Love has been an absolute beast this season, racking up the double doubles. Before getting hurt he had recorded one in 56 consecutive games, with 65 on the year, but hasn't had one since March 18th, the game before his injury.
  • The Heat won the only meeting against Minnesota this year, beating them by a season-best 32 points.
  • A win would give Miami their first season sweep over the T-Wolves since 2006-07.
  • Miami has won 3 of their last 4 visits to the Target Center.
  • Overall, the Heat has won 9 of their last 11 games while the Timberwolves are in the midst of an 8-game losing streak.
  • Udonis Haslem (foot), Mario Chalmers (knee) and Dexter Pittman (knee) are all out for Miami. Mike Miller (knee) is questionable.
  • As for the Timberwolves, center Nikola Pekovic (hip) is questionable.