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