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Mourning Returns to Heat Lineup

April 8, 1998

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The Miami Heat got a lot healthier for the stretch run Tuesday with the return of Alonzo Mourning and forwards P.J. Brown and Keith Askins for their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Mourning had missed the last two games with a fractured cheekbone. He started Tuesday, wearing a clear mask with a blue outline to protect the injury. He scored on Miami’s first possession, hitting a jump hook over Cherokee Parks.

Brown and Askins each had been on the injured list.

Brown, a starting power forward, missed six games with a sprained left ankle. Like Mourning, Brown also was back in the starting lineup Tuesday. Askins had been out with an injured left knee that required surgery March 12; the Heat are 11-0 this season when he starts at small forward.

To make room on the roster, Miami put Antonio Lang (knee) and Rex Walters (knees) on the injured list.

The Heat haven’t missed their injured starters too much. They have won eight of their last nine games (1-1 without Mourning) to lead Indiana by a game, entering Tuesday night, in the race for the No. 2 Eastern Conference playoff spot.

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