(The Sports Xchange) - When the half-court shots were falling, it became clear it was Dwyane Wade’s night.
The Heat guard scored a game-high 25 points, and backcourt mate Goran Dragic added 18 as Miami took down the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-84at Target Center.
It is the fifth time in five games so far this season that Wade has scored at least 20 points. Thursday’s 25-point effort matched a season high. The 33-year-old also notched 25 points against Cleveland on Oct. 30.
“What you see is the commitment of a player who has had to adapt with age,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said of Wade. “Hopefully he’s like a fine wine.”
The Heat (3-2) held the Timberwolves to 35.3 percent shooting for the game. Miami shot 48.7 from the floor and 18-for-25 from the free-throw line.
Perhaps just as important for Miami was their ability to limit Minnesota’s free-throw opportunities. The Timberwolves averaged 39 free-throw attempts in their first three games but took just 22 shots from the line in Thursday’s loss.
“They’ve got some guys who attack the basket,” Wade said.
“We tried our best to keep our hands out of the cookie jar as much as possible. We made a few mistakes, but for the most part I thought we did a good job.”
Chris Bosh scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Heat, while third-year center Hassan Whiteside chipped in with 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Whiteside entered the game averaging 3.5 blocks per game, third best in the league.
Wade, who dealt with migraines just two days earlier in Miami’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks, singlehandedly went on a 7-0 run to close out the first half. He capped that with a spinning half-court shot at the buzzer to give the Heat a 49-39 lead at intermission.
“That was nice,” Bosh said. “That helps, too. When you’re going, you’re going. It was good for us, really just to go up by 10.”
Wade had a team-high 16 points at the half on 7-of-12 shooting.
Earlier in the game, Wade also keyed a 10-0 Miami run after Minnesota had jumped out to a lead. He finished 11-for-19 from the floor to go along with five rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Kevin Martin and Shabazz Muhammad provided an offensive spark off the bench for the Timberwolves. Both players scored 14 points, while Andrew Wiggins paced Minnesota’s starters with 12 points in a team-high 31 minutes.
“Just the mark of a young team, not understanding that you’ve still got to run your offense,” Minnesota interim head coach Sam Mitchell said.
“You’ve still got to make multiple passes. You’ve got to give the defense a chance to make a mistake.”
Timberwolves rookie Karl-Anthony Towns, who scored in double figures in each of his first three NBA games, had a hard time offensively against Whiteside. Towns was just 3-of-13 shooting and finished with a season-low six points.
“Tonight they didn’t fall,” Towns said. “I always have a motto: if it’s going in and out one night, it’s the next opponent that should be worried.”
The Timberwolves (2-2) lost a second consecutive home game after opening the season with a pair of road wins. Minnesota plays at Chicago on Saturday. Miami plays the second game of a back-to-back Friday at Indiana.
Compiled by Peter Rutherford