Miami, Wednesday @peoplesport11
Timberwolves seemingly never make it easy for themselves and they didn’t again Monday night even in a 125-122 overtime victory at Miami.
After having their chances to win it long before then, the Wolves used point guard Jeff Teague’s two free throws with 4.4 seconds to hold off the Heat one final time after they had led by seven points with fewer than two minutes left in overtime and by four points in the fourth quarter’s final minutes.
The Wolves led 119-112 with 1:47 left, but the Heat scored the next five points, including Kelly Olynyk’s 3-point shot that brought Miami within 119-117 with 49 seconds left. That came off Miami guard Goran Dragic deflected an inbounds pass intended for Teague. He tipped it to teammate Josh Richardson, who found Olynyk across court for an open 3.
The Wolves twice led by four points in the final 43 seconds, including 123-119 with 9.9 seconds left. But Heat guard Dion Waiters answered with one more 3-point shot on a 33-point night that made it 123-122 with 5.1 seconds left.
When Miami was forced to foul, Teague sealed it with those two free throws before Waiters’ long, desperate 3 missed at the final buzzer. Teague finished with a 23-point, 11-assist, 6-steal night and Andrew Wiggins scored 22.
Waiters’ driving layup – his 25th and 26th points of the night – tied the game with 3.6 seconds left in regulation time and forced overtime after Towns’ forced a 3-pointer from the left corner didn’t come close at the fourth quarter buzzer.
The Wolves scored overtime’s first six points, the final three on Karl-Anthony Towns’ 3-pointer from the same left corner. Only this time he shot it with some room rather than Heat rookie Bam Adebayo draped all over him.
That 3-pointer put the Wolves ahead 116-110 with 3:01 left. When Waiters scored on yet another drive to the basket to pull Miami within four points, Teague answered right back with his third 3-pointer of the night and it was 119-112 with 1:47 left.
But it wasn’t over, not nearly. Wiggins’ flying slam over Miami’s Josh Richardson gave the Wolves a 110-106 lead with 38.6 seconds left in regulation time. After Waiters’ two free throws made it a two-point game, Wiggins drove to the rim again, this time missing a layup rather than delivering a punctuating mark with fewer than 15 seconds left. -AFP