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Timberwolves-Heat Preview

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The Miami Heat received some good news regarding Dwyane Wade's injury over the weekend. Unfortunately for them, he is still likely to miss at least another game.

Wade is expected to sit out a third straight contest when the Heat host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Miami (29-28) had its five-game winning streak snapped in a 97-91 loss to Dallas on Saturday that closed five-game road trip. The Heat played for the second straight time without Wade, who has been sidelined with a strained left calf. Miami won the first, defeating Memphis 100-87 in double overtime Friday.

Wade wore a protective boot as he watched the defeat to the Mavericks, but further tests Sunday revealed the injury was less severe than first thought and he was cleared to remove the boot.

Miami said Wade will continue to undergo treatment and is considered day-to-day. He was not listed in the starting lineup for Tuesday posted on the Heat's official Web site.

Wade is averaging 26.1 points and 6.4 assists, and the Heat are trying to maintain a slim lead for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference without their leading scorer.

The Timberwolves certainly won't miss Wade, who has reached the 30-point mark in four of the last five games against them. Miami, however, lost two of those three and dropped the most recent meeting 111-104 last Feb. 18 despite Wade's 37 points and 12 assists.

The Heat may again need someone to step up if their star can't go. Daequan Cook came through Saturday, scoring a season-high 22 points, but Miami managed only 12 points in the third quarter after leading by eight at the half.

"It's a lesson for us that regardless of whether Dwyane plays or not, our formula and game plan have to be the same," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Collectively, we can make each other better. But if the ball stops moving, it becomes a stagnant game for us."

Michael Beasley scored 30 points against the Grizzlies, but finished with 12 against the Mavericks. He was 3 of 11 from the field.

This will be just the third home game for Miami since Jan. 25. The Heat, 14-12 at AmericanAirlines Arena, had one of their best defensive efforts of the season in their last contest there as they beat Houston 99-66.

They will be looking to capitalize on the struggles of Minnesota (13-44), which has lost six straight, although the last three came by a combined 17 points. The Timberwolves fell 109-107 to Oklahoma City on Sunday after their rally from 17 down fell short.

Jonny Flynn and Kevin Love each had 19 points. Minnesota took an 88-86 lead with 8:16 remaining but Oklahoma City scored the next nine points to regain control.

"Again, it turns into the little things for us," coach Kurt Rambis told the Timberwolves' official Web site. "It's always the little things; one opportunity here, a turnover there, a missed shot here. It just sort of snowballs for us."

Minnesota has the second-worst record in the NBA behind New Jersey. It has lost three straight on the road by an average of 18.0 points.

Tagged: Mavericks, Heat, Timberwolves, Dwyane Wade, Daequan Cook, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Jonny Flynn

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