After struggling to score briefly, it was Duncan Robinson who would get the Heat on the board first. Minnesota was quick to respond with Anthony Edwards acrobatically getting to the rim. The Timberwolves were fiery to start with Vanderbilt, Towns, and even Russell attacking the rim for offensive boards. Luckily on the other end, it was Bam who was bringing the Heat as he fearlessly attacked the rim either scoring, slamming it down, or getting himself to the line in the process. On defense, Miami’s ability to draw charges got KAT into foul trouble very early.
Lowry once again was a maestro as he conducted the Heat offense delivering some beautiful assists to create highlight plays. Still, the Minnesota offense surged to a 12-2 run, off of strong play from Beasley and Edwards. With Miami struggling to hit the three-ball, Minnesota was able to use that run to secure the lead. Miami clawed back briefly, but the Timberwolves had momentum headed into the second quarter.
The Timberwolves defense did a great job locking down the Heat to start the second until Gabe Vincent started to hit his threes. Gabe can really be a difference-maker at times. Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro also hit some much-needed threes getting Miami back into the lead. This coupled with some great Bam offensive play sparked a 9-0 run for Miami. Herro racked up 3 triples in the second quarter as the Heat took their biggest lead of the game at 10. With the Heat suddenly falling apart on offense, Anthony Edwards would pull the Wolves right back into it stealing the ball and creating instant offense. The Heat would pull things together to end the half with Bam continuing to feast in the paint and get to the line (though his free throws led to mixed results). Dwayne Dedmon would end the half with a strong, but controversial and one. Miami would take an eight-point lead into the second half.
Duncan continued Miami’s hot shooting, keeping the Heat ahead with a three to start the half. For Minnesota, KAT was back in the lineup after sitting the majority of the first half with foul trouble. Speaking of foul trouble, Lowry found himself with his 4th foul with under 10:30 to go in the third quarter. He’d stay in though, well until he picked up his fifth on a moving screen minutes later. Not ideal for the Heat’s starting point guard.
With Miami suddenly in disarray KAT and Edwards would trim the lead to just three. A 14-3 run with many technical fouls, and general fouls assessed to the Heat allowed the Wolves to tie things up. Jimmy Butler did work in the midrange to slow things down and allow Miami to take back some momentum. He also had some words for the Minnesota crowd. Miami took back the lead, but strong play from Vanderbilt and McDaniels on the offensive glass kept things way too close for comfort. The Wolves overtook the Heat towards the end of the quarter thoroughly outscoring Miami in the third 32-20 they’d take a 4 point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Wolves continued to build their lead to start the fourth, and they’d emphasize it with a huge dunk by Anthony Edwards that would get called back as a charge. Gabe Vincent racked up his fifth foul forcing Miami to reinsert Kyle, and that’s when things started to change. The Heat created a 7-0 run to steal back the lead. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t last as Minnesota hit two back-to-back threes to go up by five. Lowry and Duncan would tie things up again but Minnesota’s hustle on the glass and ability to convert those boards into points kept cooling Miami’s runs. The Minnesota defense also frustrated the Heat causing multiple turnovers at bad moments. Still, the Heat stayed within striking distance but once Lowry fouled out things started to fall apart again. Lowry may not score like he used to, but he does a great job making Miami’s offense work and when he’s out you feel it.
The Wolves would go up by 10 and Miami just didn’t have any answers. This was a frustrating loss as Miami had control of this game for long periods. Hopefully, they can clean things up on Saturday against Chicago.