22 Mar 2006 10:34:42
Wolves get past Heat as Shaq sits out.... again


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Without Shaquille O'Neal filling the lane for Miami on
Tuesday night, Ricky Davis was free to fill the stat sheet and lead
Minnesota to victory.

Davis had 26 points, a season-high 10 assists and seven rebounds Tuesday
night to help the Timberwolves beat the undermanned Heat 100-96, snapping
Miami's five-game winning streak.

"I was just finding guys, drawing so much attention and they were stepping
up," Davis said. "I got to give credit to my teammates for hitting shots and
stepping up real hard."

O'Neal was held out because of the sore right thumb he injured on a dunk
attempt Sunday night, missing a physical game featuring 48 total fouls.

"The moment you relax because Shaq's not playing, some other tiger comes out
of the bag," coach Dwane Casey said. "We were very concerned about
Shaquille, don't get me wrong, but we were just as concerned about Dwyane
Wade and Alonzo Mourning."

Kevin Garnett had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which has won two
straight games. Marko Jaric, Marcus Banks and Mark Blount each scored 12

Wade had 35 points and eight assists to lead the Heat, who lost for just the
second time in 17 games. Mourning had 21 points and 12 rebounds and reserve
Antoine Walker added 18 points.

"We have to come back tomorrow," Wade said. "We're a team that never quits,
we always fight."

Miami missed its first four shots and first two free throws in the fourth
quarter before Mourning made two foul shots at the 8:10 mark. By then,
Minnesota had opened up a 17-point lead.

Midway through the quarter, tempers flared -- perhaps a carryover from an
earlier incident involving a hard foul from Minnesota rookie Rashad McCants.
McCants and Miami's Gary Payton got into a shouting match and had to be
separated before double technical fouls were issued.

"I don't really remember what he said," McCants said. "It just happened real
fast for me but it's nothing that needs to be elaborated on."

The Heat rallied to cut the deficit to 95-90 with 2:53 left. Davis hit a
3-pointer for the Timberwolves, but Mourning followed with a three-point
play and Wade made three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt
to bring Miami within 98-96 with 34.4 seconds left.

Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker (8) charges into Minnesota Timberwolves
guard Marcus Banks (3) and is charged with an offensive foul during the
fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Tuesday, March 21,
2006. The Timberwolves beat the Heat 100-96.
AP - Mar 21, 11:26 pm EST
More Photos
Blount missed a shot on the next possession and the Heat had a chance to
tie, but Wade's driving layup was too strong and Mourning's tip was off the
mark, allowing Minnesota to escape.

"That's something I'll play over and over in my head, I should've gone up
with the left (hand)," Wade said. "I really wanted to go for the three
actually, I wanted to go for the win, but once I came off and I had attacked
the basket I got a good shot.

"It just wasn't meant to be because I don't miss that shot too often," he

Garnett made two free throws with less than a second remaining to seal it.
Garnett was 6-for-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, after making
four key free throws down the stretch in Sunday's victory.

"Just being aggressive in the fourth quarter is what I'm focused on,"
Garnett said.

Trailing 57-50, Minnesota opened the second half with an 11-4 run to tie it
at 61 with 8:38 left. The Wolves closed the third quarter with a 13-2 surge,
capped by Garnett's 23-foot buzzer beater to give the Wolves an 82-70 lead.
The Heat made just six of 20 shots in the third.

Miami got out to a 30-22 lead after one quarter, behind Wade's nine points
and the team's 11-for-14 shooting from the foul line. The Heat got a scare
with 32.8 seconds left in the first when Wade was knocked down on a
breakaway dunk attempt by McCants. Wade remained on the floor for a few
minutes, but he got up and made both free throws before heading to the

"I really couldn't even see it and I hit the ground hard, always hit the
ground hard," Wade said.