Heat beat Timberwolves 113-110, get back to .500 mark

MIAMI (AP) — Close games are becoming the norm for the Miami Heat.

Max Strus scored 19 points, Kyle Lowry had 18 points and nine assists, and the Heat got back to .500 with a 113-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

It was Miami’s 34th game of the season — half of which were won by five points or less. In such contests, the Heat are 11-6.

“Because we’re playing these kinds of games every night, there’s no panic,” coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Orlando Robinson scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds, seven of them on Miami’s offensive end — a big advantage for the Heat who attempted 102 shots in 79 attempts going to Minnesota. Tyler Herro had 14 points for the Heat (17-17), who were without Jimmy Butler (ankle) and Bam Adebayo (illness).

Anthony Edwards led all scorers for Minnesota (16-18) with 29 points. Nazreid had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, Jaden McDaniels had 16 points, D’Angelo Russell had 13 and Austin Rivers and Rudy Gobert had 10 each.

“We just have to put our minds in the right place,” Goebel said.

Herro broke the shot clock with a long-range jumper with 33.2 seconds left — initially called a 3-pointer, later ruled a 2 — to take a five-point lead. Edwards ran and was fouled on Minnesota’s next possession but missed a free throw to keep the deficit within three.

Minnesota picked up a foul on the ensuing trip to Miami and forced Caleb Martin to miss a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left. But the Timberwolves never had a shot that could have tied the game, and a turnover ensured that Miami escaped.

“We’ve got to get better throughout the game to make sure we’re not in that position,” Reid said.

Not only is Miami missing Adebayor, but substitute Dewayne Dedmon (left foot) is also missing. That leaves rookie Nikola Jovic starting center, with Robinson — in a two-way trade — backing him.

“We’ve had a lot of people come forward,” Struth said. “Orlando Robinson was great tonight. Huge.”

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Timberwolves: Alex Rodriguez grew up in Miami and has played in a lot of Heat games over the years, and as one would expect, he was on the sidelines. He became part of the Timberwolves ownership group last year. … Minnesota was again without Kyle Anderson (back spasms).

Heat: It was the 13th game Butler missed this season, the fourth game Adebayo missed, and the second game they both missed. On Nov. 18, Miami lost without them 107-106 in Washington. … Miami Hurricanes football coach Mario Cristobal and his family were in the crowd. … Gabe Vincent (knee) scored 11 points in his first game since Dec. 5. He missed nine games.

Robinson three-pointer

Heat guard Duncan Robinson’s first 3-pointer was the 800th of his career, and he’s done it faster than anyone — 263 games, more than Dallas star Luka Doncic 25 fields less are required. Robinson is now the fastest to hit 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700 and 800 career 3-pointers. Lauri Markkanen is the fastest to reach 100, needing just 41 games.

Robinson now has 802 career 3-pointers, four shy of Tim Hardaway’s Heat record.

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Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch said he regularly checks on injured center Karl-Anthony Towns, mostly just asking about his health rather than the progress of his calf injury. Towns has not played since Nov. 28, and Monday marked his 13th straight game absence. “He’s done a great job, but it’s still a lot of weeks for us,” Finch said.

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Timberwolves: Travel to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

Heat: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

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