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Miami at Minnesota

James, Heat dismantle Love-less Wolves

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- LeBron James and the Miami Heat rebounded nicely from a two-game skid.

James had 21 points, eight assists and 14 boards for his first double-digit rebounding game of the season, leading the Heat to a 103-82 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

Dwyane Wade had 19 points and five rebounds in his return from a two-game absence and the Heat controlled the glass until garbage time after getting hammered on the boards by Detroit and Chicago in consecutive losses. James' 14 boards were the most he's had for the Heat in a regular-season game.

Kevin Martin scored 19 points for the Timberwolves. But they sorely missed Kevin Love, who was with his family following the death of his grandmother on Wednesday night.

The Wolves shot a franchise-record low 29.3 percent while the Heat made 55 percent of their shots to overcome 20 turnovers.

''We didn't play very tough tonight,'' Martin said. ''The champs showed us how it's done.''

The Heat haven't lost three in a row in the regular season since January 2012. And James wasn't about to revisit that slide.

''We don't like losing back-to-back games, and we definitely don't want to lose three in a row,'' James said. ''So it was a good pick-up game after the loss to Chicago.''

The Heat were bludgeoned on the boards 49-27 by the Bulls on Wednesday night and 46-34 by the Pistons on Tuesday night. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke on Saturday morning of needing all five players on the floor to attack the glass because they don't have a singular rebounding force like the Wolves do.

Despite having to go to the bench earlier than usual with two fouls in the first quarter, James still managed to rack up 10 rebounds before the first half was over. He posted his highest regular season rebounding total since his last season in Cleveland, when he grabbed 16 against Sacramento on Dec. 23, 2009.

Minnesota just barely won the rebounding battle, 45-44.

The night was punctuated in the third quarter when Wade threw a pass off the glass to a soaring James for a 71-57 lead.

Wade missed the previous two games, first with knee soreness and then because of an illness. He suffered a scare in the first quarter when he appeared to bang his right knee as he crashed to the court. He writhed in pain for a few minutes, but was able to get up and keep going.

Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolves, who were playing after a game against San Antonio in Mexico City on Wednesday night was postponed due to smoke in the arena.

Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio struggled mightily with one point on 0-for-4 shooting, six assists and six turnovers.


Chris Bosh had nine rebounds for the Heat. ... Love is expected to practice Sunday and be in uniform for the Wolves' next game against the Pistons on Tuesday. ... The Heat stayed in a hotel just across the street from the arena, but took a bus for the morning shootaround as most teams do. Spoelstra usually walks when he's here. But a wind chill that dipped to 15-below zero made him think otherwise. ''I had to make it from the door to the bus,'' Spoelstra said. ''Those 10 steps were about as tough as it gets.''

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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LeBron James gets it done around the rim. The reigning MVP finishes with 21 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. (USATSI)
LeBron James gets it done around the rim. The reigning MVP finishes with 21 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. (USATSI)
Miami (15-5) «24312127103
Minnesota (9-11)2517182282
MIA:L. James 21 Pts
MIA:L. James 14 Reb
MIA:L. James 8 Ast
MIN:K. Martin 19 Pts
MIN:N. Pekovic 12 Reb
MIN:R. Rubio 6 Ast
Players of the Game

LeBron James

Nikola Pekovic

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D. Wade, SG327-145-554419
L. James, SF319-123-5148321
M. Chalmers, PG264-61-21139
C. Bosh, PF244-80-09128
S. Battier, SF181-60-01133
R. Lewis, PF294-70-032410
N. Cole, PG272-60-03434
R. Allen, SG214-83-332211
C. Andersen, PF204-51-44019
R. Mason Jr., SG54-50-00029
U. Haslem, PF50-00-00010
J. Jones, SF40-10-01000
G. Oden, CDid Not Play
J. Anthony, CDid Not Play
M. Beasley, PFDid Not Play
Totals 43-7813-19442328103
N. Pekovic, C387-184-7120118
K. Martin, SG345-168-1040419
C. Brewer, SF323-105-660313
R. Rubio, PG270-41-25601
L. Mbah a Moute, SF264-93-421211
J. Barea, PG190-52-23112
D. Cunningham, SF172-90-02114
R. Hummel, SF122-32-23018
A. Price, PG90-10-01200
A. Shved, PG90-31-21201
G. Dieng, C91-33-46025
S. Muhammad, SF60-10-00000
R. Turiaf, CDid Not Play
K. Love, PFDid Not Play
C. Budinger, SFDid Not Play
Totals 24-8229-3945131582
Other Games
Den 103 Final
Phi 92
LAC 82 Final
Cle 88
Det 92 Final
Chi 75
GS 108 Final
Mem 82
Brook 90 Final
Mil 82
Ind 111 Final
SA 100
Sac 112 Final
Utah 102
Dal 108 Final
Port 106