Minnesota Timberwolves: Player grades from win over Heat

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 5: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat and Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 5: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat and Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves won their second consecutive game after an opponent missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer, this time holding on to beat the Miami Heat.

110. 111. 86. Final. 109

The Minnesota Timberwolves will finish shy of 40 wins this season, but they’re evidently trying to get as close as they possibly can.

Just 48 hours after hanging on to beat the Dallas Mavericks by two points, the Wolves did the same against the Miami Heat in Dwyane Wade‘s final visit to Target Center.

Wade had 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting but missed an open 3-point attempt at the buzzer that would have won the game. Josh Okogie and Tyus Jones forced Wade into a pair of pump-fakes that disrupted his rhythm, and that was ultimately enough to get the job done.

The first half largely belonged to the Heat, and while they never opened up a significant lead, they were on top by multiple points a few times prior to halftime and took an eight-point lead into the break. Gorgui Dieng was outstanding after Karl-Anthony Towns got into foul trouble once again, putting up 15 points by halftime and ultimately finishing with a season-high 19 points.

Minnesota had a great third quarter and only trailed by one heading to the final frame, largely due to efficient offense and crisp passing.

It was one of the better all-around offensive performances in a while from the Wolves, as Towns and Dario Saric put on a big man passing clinic and Jones had a fantastic game running the point.

As the fourth quarter wore on, the Wolves clung to a one or two possession lead down the stretch. A missed free throw from Keita Bates-Diop left the door open for the Heat to tie or win on a 3-pointer. But Wade missed and the Wolves held on for the victory.

Minnesota Timberwolves. KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS. C. It was back to another quiet performance for Towns, who only attempted 10 shots en route to a 13-point, 12- rebound performance. He did have four assists, most of which were impressive dimes to cutting teammates with his back to the basket. The biggest issue for Towns was the incredible 11 turnovers, including four offensive fouls. The Heat had a fantastic plan to slow KAT down, but Towns’ teammates did enough to get the Wolves the win on another off-night from their All-Star.. Center

ANDREW WIGGINS. B+. Wiggins had an efficient scoring evening, putting up 18 points on 12 shots, including shooting 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. He had a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter and had a couple of nice baskets as a cutter as well. Unfortunately, he only added two rebounds, one assist, and one steal, limiting his overall impact on the game.. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves

A. Saric had a solid all-around game, displaying his full skill-set as a shooter, cutter, and playmaker. The Croatian big man finished with with 19 points (6-10 FG, 2-4 3P, 5-5 FT), seven rebounds, and five assists. It was exactly the kind of performance that’s expected of Saric, who needs to continue to assert himself if the Wolves are going to have a frontcourt that reaches its ceiling in the coming years.. Power Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. DARIO SARIC

B+. Okogie had another defense-first game. While scoring just six points on 2-of-7 shooting, he had five steals and was outstanding on that end of the floor in his 22 minutes of play.. Guard/Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. JOSH OKOGIE

Jones had his third straight strong performance. This time, it was his scoring that was so impressive as a steady diet of floaters in the second half gave Tyus a 6-for-11 shooting night on his way to 12 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals.. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. TYUS JONES. A

B. Tolliver played just 16 minutes as he’s taken a bit of backseat during Gorgui Dieng’s recent resurgence, but he was generally effective when on the floor. Tolliver finished with seven points, five rebounds, and two assists, although he shot just 1-of-2 from beyond the arc.. Forward. Minnesota Timberwolves. ANTHONY TOLLIVER

A. <a href=. Center. Minnesota Timberwolves. GORGUI DIENG

B+. Bayless continues to cede some of the extra nightly minutes he was receiving a week or two ago to Jones. The veteran played only 17 minutes and contributed five points and five assists and was solid, for the most part.. Point Guard. Minnesota Timberwolves. JERRYD BAYLESS

The rest of the players

Keita Bates-Diop contributed nine points, five rebounds, and one assist. He shot 4-of-9 from the field and had a few nice plays on both ends of the floor as he the rookie continues to suggest that he could be a valuable rotation player moving forward.

Cameron Reynolds played 13 minutes and knocked down one 3-pointer in two attempts.

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What’s Next?

The Timberwolves will stay at home for the Sunday matinee game on ABC as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder at 2:30 p.m.