Waiters’ late heroics not enough as Minnesota Timberwolves top Miami Heat

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 30: Dion Waiters
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 30: Dion Waiters /

Despite 33 points from Dion Waiters, late heroics from Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins lead the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Miami Heat, 125-122.

The Miami Heat have been in the midst of another early-season roller coaster ride. They’ve suffered blowout losses, after blowing their fair share of leads but at other times, have looked unbeatable.

They sank an NBA first-half record 13 3-pointers against the Atlanta Hawks last Monday, but then gave up nine points in two minutes to Kyrie Irving down the stretch of a 96-90 loss to the Boston Celtics.

On Monday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Heat encountered the same problems that plagued them against Boston just days ago.

Jeff Teague had a season-high 23 points and 11 assists, while Andrew Wiggins recorded 22 points as the Timberwolves held on to beat the Heat in overtime. Karl Anthony-Towns added 20 points and 12 rebounds on an efficient 7-of-11 shooting, and Jimmy Butler finished with 16 points and five boards.

The Heat, who were once again without Hassan Whiteside, were led by Dion Waiters with 33 points, who scored 21 in the fourth quarter and overtime. And Kelly Olynyk, who scored 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting, as Miami has now dropped three consecutive games at home.

"“He was able to be aggressive tonight,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said of Olynyk. “His first step was definitely there.”"

Goran Dragic recorded 18 points and rookie Bam Adebayo knotched the first double-double of his NBA career with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

But Miami was unable to overcome a season-high 24 turnovers, and in the end, it cost them dearly.

Still, Spoelstra praised this group’s effort following the game.

"“Our activity certainly was much better,” Spoelstra said. “You could feel it. I wish I could tell the team this league is fair. It’s not. It would have been a perfect stamp to come away with a win.”"

Miami opened the game up on an 12-2 run, and at one point were up by 13 in the early moments of the second period. Then Minnesota found its rhythm, and it came in bunches. With the Heat up 55-43 in the waning minutes of the half, the Timberwolves used a quick 12-0 run to even the score at 55. Dragic’s 3-pointer to end the quarter put Miami up 62-60 heading into the intermission, but their offensive draughts would not end there.

The Heat wouldn’t fare much better in the second half either.

With 3:13 left in the third period, Miami found itself in a 79-73 deficit before rattling off a quick 9-0 run to claim an 82-79 lead heading into the fourth. Jamal Crawford’s 3-pointer with 3:09 remaining in regulation gave Minnesota a 104-97 lead, and it looked as if the Heat were going to lay down from there.

Then Waiters’ woke up, and he came through in a big way. Through three quarters, Waiters had scored just 12 points. He surpassed that total in the fourth quarter alone, his game-tying layup with 3.6 seconds remaining, gave him 14 in the period and 26 for the game.

The Timberwolves would outscore Miami 15-12 in overtime, despite an additional seven points from Waiters. Now, a once-promising season has now fallen two games below .500 in the early going.

The Heat will host the lowly Chicago Bulls on Wednesday in the final game of their six game home stand, before heading out west for a four-game road trip. That will include visits to Denver, Golden State, Los Angeles, and Utah.

Next: Without Whiteside, Miami Heat may struggle vs Minnesota Timberwolves

Tip off is scheduled for Wednesday, November 1 at 7:30 PM ET.