James' rebounding sparks Heat over Wolves

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm •  Published: December 7, 2013
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Miami Heat walked into Target Center with a big problem over the previous two games — they had been dominated on the glass.

That was two games too many for LeBron James.

The reigning NBA MVP 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.

"Don't talk about it, just go do it," James said. "To me, when I say it, I go and make it happen."

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-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.



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