Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 12/21/12
Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day. 1: Return to fame It had been six or seven years since TNT had broadcasted a Minnesota Timberwolves game. Kevin Garnett had long been a fixture that made the Timberwolves relevant. But as the team fell apart and the franchise eventually moved Garnett on to a new home, the Timberwolves fell into despondency. They were more than irrelevant. The Wolves became the butt of a lot of jokes. To some extent, they are still battling that perception. Kevin Love's questions about the franchise's future and his own recently shed some light on a franchise that is still figuring things out. If there are more games like Thursday's 99-93 win over the streaking Thunder, however, TNT will be in Minneapolis much more often and the Timberwolves will find themselves fighting for more than Lottery position. Nikola Pekovic dominated the first half with the Wolves moving the ball seamlessly in and out on pick and rolls, something Pekovic is extremely adept at running particularly when he gets near the rim. He had 24 points, 10 rebounds. When you throw in Kevin Love doing his thing -- 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists -- and then some strong play from Alexey Shved (12 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds) and J.J. Barea (18 points off the bench) and it was a scary good performance from Minnesota. Are we ready to call Minnesota a Playoff threat? That might be presumptuous, especially with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka continuing to develop. 2: Still the Champs Any talk that the Heat were slipping or falling off is likely exaggerated. With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the roster, Miami is going to be fine and be able to compete for a championship. Yes, the defense has slipped some this year, but you wonder how much of that is championship hangover, how much of it is pacing themselves through the marathon of the regular season and how much of it is integrating a new team. When you see the signs Miami will get itself together and be fine, it can be downright impressive. Sometimes LeBron does it all by himself. It seemed like he was doing that at times in Miami's 110-95 win over Dallas on Thursday. The Heat took a 31-20 lead after one quarter and opened up a lead as big as 35 points in the rout over the Mavericks. James scored 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting and Dwyane Wade was on the court for an asounding +40 in his 19-point, 6-assist performance. Yeah, the Heat can be downright scary. 3: HIGHLIGHTS!!! And he can dunk too Shved pulls a Rubio Wade finds James deep 4: Line of the Night: Kevin Durant -- 33 points, 12/21 FGs, 7 rebounds, 6 assists Even in a losing effort you cannot help but stare in awe of Durant and his scoring ability. He had one shot where he was fouled and still pushed the ball toward the hoop, it hit the top of the backboard twice and fell in. The Thunder did not lose this game because of Durant. Durant had his moments where he took over and helped bring the Thunder within single digits. 5: You can quote me on that It was good to see us play to our identity. The starting group set the tone for us. We've developed a little more consistency. Now you're seeing a little bit more of a consistent 48 minutes. -Heat coach Erik Spoelstra We don’t have a statistical formula for winning. But I think when we play together, and do what’s necessary, we do pretty well. -Blazers coach Terry Stotts [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Browns make Ryan Grigson senior personnel executive

Potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz looks positively jacked in recent photo

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker