Corey Brewer fined for flop against Heat’s LeBron James

MINNEAPOLIS — Corey Brewer may have claimed victory in a
small battle against the Heat Saturday night, but LeBron James won the war.

The Timberwolves small forward drew James’ second foul by
flailing his arms and lurching forward after he and James went up for a rebound
with 2:51 remaining in the first quarter at the Target Center. Brewer’s
theatrics were ruled a flop Monday, and the NBA announced he’s been fined $5,000.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra benched James for the next 7
minutes, 2 seconds of game clock after the play, but the two-time reigning
league MVP came back and finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and eight
assists. The Heat walloped Kevin Love-less Minnesota in front of its home

Brewer, who’s off to the best start of his seven-year
career, had received a flopping warning after Minnesota’s 109-100 victory over
the Knicks on Nov. 3. On that play, Brewer ducked under a Tyson Chandler screen
and launched himself backward once the two made contact.

No foul was called that night.

Per the league’s anti-flopping system promulgated before
last season, players receive one warning and then start receiving fines when
officials review game video and rule a flop occurred. If Brewer is charged with
the same indiscretion again, he’ll be fined $10,000.

The financial penalties increase from there to $30,000 on a
player’s fifth flop. A sixth is subject to an even higher fine and possible

His NBA-judged dramatics are about the only source of scorn
surrounding Brewer since his return to the Twin Cities this offseason. The team
that drafted him in 2007 inked him to a three-year, $15 million deal this

A stalwart sixth man in Denver the past two years, Brewer
has started all 20 of the Timberwolves’ contest and is averaging career highs
in point production (14 per game) and field-goal percentage (45.9). His 1.9
steals per game rank 11th in the league.

Love returns: Love, who missed the Miami game following the
death of his grandmother, was back at practice Monday.

Love’s maternal grandmother, Carol Lee Craig, passed away
Wednesday when Minnesota was in Mexico City to play the Spurs (the game never
took place after a generator malfunction caused Mexico City Arena to fill with
smoke). Love left Friday morning for Portland, Ore., to mourn with his family.

Love declined to speak with reporters after Monday’s

The Timberwolves flew out Monday afternoon to commence an
Eastern Conference back-to-back — Tuesday at Detroit, Wednesday at home
against Philadelphia.

Follow Phil Ervin on Twitter