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It was 86-75 with 10 minutes left, before Miami suddenly sprung to life with a 12-0 run.
And when Wade had consecutive driving baskets, the game was knotted at 91 with 5 minutes remaining. But Gomes hit a 3-pointer -- the Timberwolves' best friend in this one -- to put Minnesota back in the lead.
At first, it seemed as if O'Neal's debut would be an easy one.
Newly crowned NBA 3-point shootout champion Daequan Cook closed the first quarter with a 3-pointer, and the Heat had an early 31-20 lead.
Miami missed nine of its first 11 shots in the second quarter, and the game swiftly changed. Telfair hit a 3-pointer with 4:10 left in the half and the Timberwolves went up 40-39, before Miami wound up taking a 49-46 lead into the break.
Notes: The benefits of computer imaging: Marion and Banks were removed from the team's pregame introduction video, with some extra shots of Wade added to seamlessly fill the gaps. ... The Timberwolves had hit 13 times from 3-point range twice this season, most recently against Milwaukee on Jan. 10.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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