Wolves Wrap: Kevin Martin leads comeback win over Heat, 102-101


110. 102. 86. Final. 101

A frantic finish Wednesday night saw the Miami Heat with multiple chances for a game-winner, but the host Minnesota Timberwolves survived for a 102-101 victory.

The final possession of the game saw Mario Chalmers miss a potential go-ahead layup and both teams scramble for the loose ball. Ricky Rubio sprawled to the hardwood but to no avail as the Heat picked up their 15th and final offensive rebound. That led to an open Norris Cole three-point attempt clanking off the rim and Gorgui Dieng securing the game-clinching rebound as time expired.

Moments earlier, in a truly bizarre and ill-timed fashion, a simple inbound situation between Hassan Whiteside and Cole turned into a big turnover in the Wolves favor. After receiving the orange from Whiteside, Cole inexplicably directed the center to go back out-of-bounds and re-do the pass. The big man obliged and the referees were on top of it — Wolves’ ball on the out-of-bounds turnover.

While the Wolves played inspired and energetic basketball in the first half and led the entire first 24 minutes, they faltered in the third quarter and first portion of the fourth, falling behind 88-78. Thanks to some clutch Kevin Martin buckets and team defensive rebounds in the waning minutes, the Worst in the West pushed their record to 9-40. It’s now two losses in two nights for the Heat, as they fall to 21-28.

Star of the Game

Kevin Martin (30 points on 11-of-23 shooting, 4-of-5 free throws, 4-of-8 three-pointers, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers)

There were a bunch of candidates for Star of the Game in this one. If the Heat had pulled out the win, the winner would be Whiteside hands-down. The dude continued his ridiculous hot streak, scoring 24 points, grabbing 20 rebounds (9 offensive), and shooting an absurd 12-of-13 (and started 11-of-11.)

Other candidates for the Wolves included Thaddeus Young (16 points, 5 steals), Dieng (13 points, 9 rebounds), and Mo Williams (10 points, 10 assists.) But Martin made the clutch shots in the fourth and was particularly sharp from outside.

Tweet of the Game

Stat of the Night

In retrospect, maybe the tweet from above could have been placed here. Whiteside’s monster game had to be pointed out somewhere.

With many choices for this category, we’ll go with a somewhat disappointing one. The stat of the night is 6 points scored for Andrew Wiggins. The three-time reigning Western Conference NBA Rookie of the Month failed to reach double-digits in scoring for the first time since Dec. 21 against the Indiana Pacers (5 points.) The impressive streak lasted a total of 22 games.

Notable Lines:

  • Kevin Martin: 30 points (11-23 FG, 4-8 3PT, 4-5 FT), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
  • Ricky Rubio: 8 points (1-3 FG, 6-8 FT), 9 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Mo Williams: 10 points (4-6 FG, 2-2 3 PT, 0-1 FT), 10 assists

Who’s Got Next?

The Wolves stay at the Target Center for one more as they invite the Memphis Grizzlies to Minnesota Friday for a 7 p.m. Central Time tip-off.

And for all of you wanting to see the Rubio-to-Anthony Bennett dish and dunk that all of Wolves Nation is talking about, well, here you go. Enjoy!

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