Timberwolves hurt Heat's playoff hopes with win
MINNEAPOLIS -- Dario Saric and Gorgui Dieng scored 19 points each to lead the host Minnesota Timberwolves to a 111-109 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night, April 5.
The loss was the third in a row for the Heat (38-41), who are locked in a desperate fight to make the Eastern Conference playoffs with just three games remaining.
Minnesota (36-43) is out of playoff contention but played spoiler. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota's star 7-foot center, struggled with 11 turnovers, including four offensive fouls. He had an odd triple-double along with his 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Dwyane Wade led Miami with 24 points, including a steal at midcourt and a layup with 10 seconds left that cut the Heat deficit to 110-109.
But after Keita Bates-Diop made one of two free throws to extend Minnesota's lead to two points, Miami called timeout with 4.7 seconds left.
After the timeout, the in-bounds pass went to Wade at the top of the key. Wade pump faked three times and also did a spin before missing a 3-pointer off the back of the rim, ending Miami's hopes.
Dion Waiters was another Heat high scorer with 22 points.
Just three of Wade's 24 points came in the second half as most of Miami's shooters went cold. Heat point guard Goran Dragic had 15 points -- just one after halftime.
The game was close almost all night. There were 17 lead changes and five tie scores in the first quarter that ultimately went to Minnesota, 36-35. But Wade scored the first points of the second, and the Heat led for the rest of the quarter.
For the half, the Heat shot 62.2 percent and had a 34-24 edge in paint points. Miami was also plus-six on rebounds.
Minnesota caught Miami in the third period, and the teams traded the lead six times until the Heat emerged with just a one-point advantage, 91-90, heading to the dramatic fourth.