Wolves can't handle Heat
MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade scored 24 points, LeBron James added 22 points and 11 assists and the Miami Heat survived a huge rebounding differential to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 103-92 on Tuesday night.
Chris Bosh scored 15 points and Mario Chalmers added 12 for the Heat, who gave up 21 of the game’s first 24 rebounds and wound up getting beaten 52-24 on the boards — yet still won.
Andrei Kirilenko scored 22 for Minnesota, which played without guard Ricky Rubio, who’s being eased back after recovering from knee surgery. The Timberwolves dropped their second straight. Kevin Love finished with 11 points and 18 rebounds, and Nikola Pekovic had a 18-point, 12-rebound effort for the Timberwolves.
James topped the 20-point mark for the 27th straight regular-season game and 43rd straight overall.
A 24-9 run in the second half was the deciding blow for Miami, with James leading the way, getting 11 of those points and assisting on three other scores during the spurt. James had a pair of 3-pointers during the run, including one that put Miami up by 10 late in the third, and then he capped it with a three-point play after connecting on a running jumper with 10:26 left.
In eight minutes, what was a 63-62 deficit became an 86-72 Miami lead.
And when James took an alley-oop from Ray Allen for a dunk in transition with 7:36 left, the lead was 16 — then Miami’s largest — and the reigning NBA MVP’s streak of 20-point games was extended as well. On the next Miami possession, James found Shane Battier for a 3-pointer along the left wing. The lead was 97-78 with 7:09 left, and James walked back to the Heat bench pumping his right fist with satisfied emphasis.
It was the fifth straight time the Heat have beaten the Timberwolves. The last time Minnesota beat Miami was Feb. 23, 2010 — not all that long ago in real time but eons ago in Heat time, considering none of the five players in the starting lineup for that loss were even on last season’s championship team, much less on the current roster.
Luke Ridnour scored 13 and JJ Barea added 10 for the Timberwolves.