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Heat come up short in Minnesota despite Nunn's 25

"We gave ourselves an opportunity with a lead in the fourth quarter," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

It well could have been a victory had Jimmy Butler been available, with the guard missing a third consecutive game for paternity leave, but Nunn has proven he belongs as a lineup fixture, mitigating the absences of Dion Waiters and James Johnson, and on this night, Derrick Jones Jr., as well, who was out with a groin strain.

With Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow also having their moments, the next step for the Heat could be as simple as subbing Butler into the starting lineup for first-round pick Tyler Herro, who endured an uneven shooting night, at 1 of 6 on 3-pointers.

Of Nunn and Herro being thrown into the starting-lineup fire from the outset, Spoelstra said, "They're really exciting, promising young players, but we're relying on them now.

With Jones out, rookies KZ Okpala and Chris Silva were in the game for the Heat by the end of the first period.

The Heat then utilized an 18-4 run to end the second period and move to a 57-55 halftime lead.

READ MORE (Sun Sentinel)

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  • Jimmy Butler Breaks His Silence on Social Media After Birth of DaughterHeat Nation
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  • The Minnesota Timberwolves are on a season-opening rollDunking With Wolves
  • Andrew Wiggins' late hot streak sends Wolves past Miami in home openerMinneapolis Star Tribune

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Heat come up short in Minnesota despite Nunn's 25


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