MIAMI – The Miami Heat overcame a 28-point rebounding differential to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 103-92 last night with Dwyane Wade top scoring with 24 points.
The Timberwolves slaughtered Miami 52-24 on the boards, with Kevin Love winning 18 of the rebounds and Montenegrin Nikola Pekovic 12.
But the Heat shrugged off the disadvantage as they dominated the turnover count, and were never threatened after pulling away in the second half.
LeBron James put up 22 points with 11 assists and seven rebounds in his 42 minutes on court to notch his 27th consecutive regular season game with at least 20 points.
The visitors led 27-21 at the end of the first quarter, having dominated the rebounds 18-3 in the opening 12 minutes.
Miami recovered to lead 52-49 at the half, with Mario Chalmers scoring a three-pointer with the final play.
The Heat took control after the break, with James scoring 14 points, and overhauled the largest rebounding deficit in their history.
The Heat forced 20 turnovers for a second consecutive game, yielding 25 points, and made 14 blocked shots and 12 steals.
Chris Bosh said the Heat had shown their quality in overcoming their rebounding weakness, a problem throughout the season.
“We’re a good team. Good teams always find a way to win. We have to find a way to rebound collectively as a unit. Once we start doing that we give ourselves a better chance to win,” he said.
“When we get to that point we can really start to squeeze the life out of teams slowly but surely.”
Other Tuesday night scores: Hawks 100, Wizards 95; Raptors 113, Cavaliers 99; Jazz 92, Nets 90; Celtics 89, Bulls 100; Pacers 93, Bucks 98; 76ers 100, Mavericks 107; Spurs 106, Nuggets 112; Bobcats 100, Lakers 101; Hornets 96, Warriors 103.††