Wade pops in 39 to sink Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Dwyane Wade scored 39 points, Quentin Richardson added 14 and the Miami Heat beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-84 on Saturday night for their eighth straight victory.
Wade has scored at least 30 points in four of his last five games. He fueled critical runs at the end of each half to erase any hope Minnesota had of winning consecutive games after snapping a 16-game losing streak.
Al Jefferson and Ramon Sessions each had 12 points to lead the Wolves, 2-23 since Feb. 6 -- with one of those wins coming at Miami on Feb. 23.
Wade made sure the lowly Timberwolves wouldn't make it two straight over his team, which has won 14 of its last 17 games.
After Miami trailed by seven early, Wade scored 10 of the Heat's final 12 points of the first half to put his Heat ahead 53-44. Then, with Minnesota pulling within seven in the fourth quarter, Wade hit a wide-open 3-pointer at the top of the key to put Miami up 86-76 with 5:33 to play. The Wolves never seriously threatened after that.
Minnesota looked energized early. Darko Milicic, who entered the game averaging 11 points and six rebounds in his previous seven games, had 10 points and blocked three shots before leaving in the second quarter after taking an elbow to the jaw from Jamaal Magloire.
Milicic went to the locker room area to ice his jaw at 7:51 with the Wolves up by two. Miami outscored Minnesota 22-11 the rest of the half, and Milicic didn't return.
- Joel Anthony made his 10th start of the season for Miami. The Heat are 8-2 when he starts at center. "I like the fact that no one in the league knows who he is," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game. "I don't like the fact that none of the officials know who he is."
- Milicic has scored in double figures in five of his last seven games.