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Miami Heat climb East standings with win over Timberwolves

May 7, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) dribbles the ball while defended by Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn (25) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Herro scored 27 points to spark the host Miami Heat during a 121-112 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Herro, who missed the previous six games due to an injury to his right foot, sparked the Heat (36-31) with 14 first-half points on 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. Herro finished with a season-high six made 3-pointers on eight attempts.

Jimmy Butler also returned after missing the Heat’s previous game due to flu-like symptoms unrelated to COVID-19.

Butler finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals as Miami climbed up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference and one game ahead of the Boston Celtics. The Heat’s next two games are at Boston on Sunday and Tuesday.

Miami also moved to within half a game behind fifth-place Atlanta.

Minnesota (20-47) lost its third in a row despite Karl-Anthony Towns’ 27 points, six rebounds and four assists.

The Heat shot 53.5 percent in the first half and 50.6 percent overall, and their bench outscored the Timberwolves’ reserves 57-19.

Goran Dragic added to Miami’s depth once again off the bench, scoring 15 of his 23 points in the first half. Dragic was clutch late as well, making back-to-back 3-pointers in the final two minutes to help Miami pull away.

Minnesota keyed on Bam Adebayo for most of the night defensively, but he still managed to score 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Kendrick Nunn also had 12 points.

Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards totaled 25 points, and Ricky Rubio finished with 16 points and nine assists. Jarred Vanderbilt had 11 rebounds and five steals to go with eight points.

D’Angelo Russell was ejected with 4:35 left in the third quarter after drawing two technical fouls in a row. Russell finished with 17 points, four assists, and three rebounds in 26 minutes. Rubio, Towns and Minnesota coach Chris Finch also picked up technical fouls.

The Heat played without Victor Oladipo (right knee) for the 15th consecutive game.

Minnesota guard Malik Beasley remained out with a grade 3 left hamstring strain, along with Jarrett Culver (right ankle surgery) and Jaden McDaniels (personal reasons).

–Field Level Media