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Wade, Heat put an end to Timberwolves' winning streak

Jan 14, 2009 - 5:38 AM By Tom Coyer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade scored 31 points as the Miami Heat snapped the Minnesota Timberwolves' five-game winning streak with a 99-96 victory on Tuesday.

Udonis Haslem had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Shawn Marion added 16 and 11 for Miami, which beat Minnesota for the sixth time in the last eight meetings.

Wade finished 9-of-15 from the floor, taking over the game late. He scored eight of his team's 11 points over the final 4:06.

"Yeah, you have to know the right time to attack and when to go," Wade said. "I feel that I passed it enough in the second half so at the end I just had to be aggressive."

"He does so much for us and we don't take it for granted," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We realize that's his greatness, to be able to close out games after playing 38 minutes already and then to make big plays on both ends of the floor."

The Heat trailed for much of the contest until taking their first lead since the opening moments when Michael Beasley hit a jumper for an 80-78 edge with 9:08 left in the fourth quarter.

Miami grabbed the lead for good at 97-96 with 22 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by Marion. The small forward collected 14 of his points in the second half en route to his 10th double-double of the season.

"I was being more aggressive (in the second half)," Marion said. "It was about getting opportunities, you gotta get opportunities and make them count and I did that."

Wade then blocked a drive by Randy Foye, who dueled against the NBA's top scorer for much of the fourth.

Foye recovered the loose ball and kicked it out, but Rodney Carney missed a 3-pointer and Wade was fouled after corralling the rebound with eight seconds to play.

Wade split two free throws, but Beasley beat Mike Miller to the offensive rebound on the second attempt and was fouled. The rookie also went 1-of-2 from the stripe with 6.6 ticks left, giving Minnesota a final chance.

Yet, Foye was forced to attempt a tough 3-pointer that fell short of the rim. The third-year guard finished with 29 points and eight assists.

"We had plenty of opportunities to win the game, but we let the game slip away," Foye said.

Foye scored 14 points in the fourth, including a 3-pointer for a 96-95 edge with 1:55 left, while guarding Wade on the other end of the floor.

"He's out there being aggressive and playing well," Timberwolves coach Kevin McHale said of Foye. "He had 29 points and eight assists, five rebounds, you can't ask for anything more out of him than that."

With the win, Miami improved to 2-2 on a seven-game, 12-day road trip. It will head to Milwaukee to face the Bucks on Wednesday night.

The Heat, who trailed by as many as eight points in the second half, helped engineer a comeback by getting to the free-throw line often in the fourth. They went 10-of-15 from the line while the Timberwolves did not have an attempt in the final quarter.

"In the fourth quarter, we were able to control the pace and creep back into the game, and that was a big factor in it," Spoelstra said.

Wade ended up 13-of-16 from the stripe.

Carney scored 15 points and Jefferson added nine and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which was denied its first six-game winning streak since April 2004.

The Wolves' leading scorer, Jefferson was held in check by the Heat's concentrated effort, going 4-of-14 from the field as he was held under 10 points for the second time this season.

"I thought Joel (Anthony) and Udonis (Haslem) did a tremendous job also on Jefferson," Spoelstra said. "He is a lot down there and a unique player with his speed, size and quickness. He really forces your defense to be sharp."