Wiggins, Timberwolves Come Up Short Against Streaking Heat

Alexander Shun | @alexpshun

Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com

Minnesota Timberwolves Center Karl-Anthony Towns had a great performance on Monday night, going off for 35 points, eight rebounds and two steals but it still wasn't enough to knock off Goran Dragic and the Miami Heat. 

Dragic was simply impossible for Minnesota to stop as he poured in 33 points including going 7-of-9 from beyond the arc while adding nine assists as the Heat beat the Timberwolves 115-113.

Hassan Whiteside had a complete all-around game, chipping in 19 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in the Heat's uncomfortably close victory.

The Heat exploited Minnesota's defense which has struggled to stop anyone in their past few games and is allowing an average of 113.6 points in their last five games which includes a now four-game losing streak, their third such losing streak of the season.

"The defense, if we don't straighten it out, it's going to be hard to win, it is," Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau said after hist team's loss Monday night. "I have to do a better job to get our team to play better defense. We have to prioritize it and it has to be important to everybody. You can't win like this, you can't."

The 'Wolves players shared similar sentiments.

"We just need to play defense, that's what it comes down to," Andrew Wiggins said, who finished the night with 27 points, four rebounds and two steals. "Myself, I fell like I'm a pretty good on-ball defender, but off-ball, I can lose sight of my man a little bit. We all have room for improvement."

Despite trailing for the majority of the game, Minnesota did in fact have an opportunity to tie the game late. After Whiteside missed 1-of-2 free throws to make it a 115-13 game, the Timberwolves had the ball and 8.5 seconds remaining to tie the game. Wiggins was the guy and, after passing on a 28-foot three-point attempt, Wiggins went to the right side of the floor and fired up a step-back  jumper from about 18 feet out  only to watch the shot hit the front rim and bounce out.

Ricky Rubio continued his hot-streak adding 14 points and 13 assists in the team's loss.

Minnesota cannot dwell on the loss too much as they must now prepare for a tough Toronto Raptors team.

"It’s one of those things you’ve got to learn from," Towns said, speaking about the team's loss to Miami. "You’ve got to take it to the next game so you can come out with a W. Next game’s a big game for us. We’ve got to find a way to win.”

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