Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 3/25

Game 1: Tuesday, March 25th
Game 2: Friday, March 28th

Heat 111

(23-50, 15-22 home)

    8:00 PM ET, March 28, 2003

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 35 14 16 1984
    MIA 19 29 28 35111

    Top Performers

    Min: K. Garnett 17 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Mia: C. Butler 35 Pts, 3 Reb, 7 Ast, 4 Stl, 2 Blk

    Heat rally from 18 down, romp past Wolves

    MIAMI (AP) -- For a three-quarter stretch Friday night, the Miami Heat didn't resemble a team that probably is headed for a last-place finish in the Atlantic Division and a second straight trip to the draft lottery.

    Rookie Caron Butler scored a career-high 35 points, and the Heat overcame an early 18-point deficit to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-84.

    Miami's long, bleak season took a respite in the final 36 minutes against the Timberwolves, as the Heat started making fast-break baskets and open 3-pointers to pull away.

    "We had eight or nine turnovers in the first quarter, and then it all started to come together,'' Heat coach Pat Riley said.

    Butler led seven Heat players in double figures. Eddie House finished with 18 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter. Miami also shot a season-best 62 percent.

    "Offensively, I was rolling,'' Butler said. "I knocked down shots -- that's the role I want, to be the energizer of the team.''

    Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves with 17 points and nine rebounds.

    The victory snapped a three-game Miami losing streak, including a 108-91 loss at Minnesota on Tuesday.

    "It was a little redemption,'' Butler said. "That was a crazy game up there in Minnesota. We didn't match their energy.''

    The Heat got a jolt when Garnett's basket gave the Timberwolves a 37-19 lead in the first possession of the second quarter.

    Led by Butler and reserve guard Mike James, the Heat began to cut away at the deficit. Miami finished the first half with a 29-12 run. James scored nine points during the spurt.

    "I just wanted to come out and bring energy,'' said James, who finished with 15 points.

    Riley also used a small backcourt, rotating guards James, House and Anthony Carter. The lineup, and occasional use of a zone defense, frustrated the Timberwolves.

    "We had 12 assists in the first quarter and one assist in the second quarter,'' Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "That means you're not moving the ball, not sharing the ball, not doing the things you're supposed to do.''

    Miami didn't let up from its strong second quarter and built an 11-point lead by the end of the third.

    "We're a man-to-man team, but we changed the game a bit,'' James said. "Sometimes when you do that, you catch the other team by surprise.''

    The Heat continued to increase their lead throughout the fourth quarter. In one fourth-quarter stretch, Butler made three consecutive layups and House connected on two 3-pointers.

    "The zone just created fast break after fast break,'' Riley said. "It was a great win for us.''

    Game notes

    Butler's 35 points was the second-highest total by a Heat rookie. Sherman Douglas scored 37 in 1990. ... Butler made a career-best 15 field goals. ... Garnett broke his Timberwolves' single-season team record of 981 rebounds, with his eighth of the game early in the third period.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 84 111
    FGM-FGA 35-83 (.422) 46-74 (.622)
    3PM-3PA 2-14 (.143) 5-10 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 12-16 (.750) 14-20 (.700)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-30 7-37
    Assists 22 30
    Turnovers 15 18
    Steals 12 11
    Blocks 6 9
    Fast Break Points 2 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (1/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 17
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Caron Butler Butler
    Points: 35
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 2