|FreePlays.com Home » Recap: Miami at Minnesota, March 4th, 2013|
Minneapolis‚ MN (Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade poured in 32 points and LeBron James shook off a sore knee to post a double-double‚ with the duo leading the Miami Heat to a franchise-record 15th consecutive win with a a 97-81 decision over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Wade added 10 assists in addition to going 15-of-23 from the field‚ while James put up 20 points and 10 rebounds despite being questionable to play coming in after twisting his left knee in Sunday's 99-93 victory at New York.
Ray Allen contributed 13 points to help the Heat surpass their previous club mark of 14 straight triumphs‚ set between Dec. 6‚ 2004-Jan. 1‚ 2005.
"Tonight was just about finding some way to win‚ however we had to do it‚" Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It was an uneven game‚ obviously. [We were] very careless offensively‚ but at the end of the day we found a way to get the win."
The injury-riddled Timberwolves‚ meanwhile‚ were dealt a sixth straight loss and fell to 4-22 in their last 26 games.
Derrick Williams paced Minnesota with a season-high 25 points‚ with Ricky Rubio recording 14 points‚ eight assists and six steals in the setback.
The Timberwolves were again without a pair of starters in center Nikola Pekovic (abdominal strain) and forward Andrei Kirilenko (strained calf)‚ while All-Star Kevin Love (broken hand)‚ guard Brandon Roy (knee) and swingman Chase Budinger (knee) remain sidelined as well.
James and Wade sparked an 11-0 first-quarter run that staked the Heat to an early 15-8 lead‚ and Miami stayed in front the rest of the way despite the undermanned Timberwolves' best efforts.
Minnesota trimmed an 11-point deficit down to four with a 9-2 spurt early in the second quarter‚ with Rubio coming up with a steal before feeding Alexey Shved for a transition layup to bring the Timberwolves within 31-27. Minnesota trailed by a 50-43 count at the break after Williams scored the last of his 12 first-half points on an inside bucket 47.3 seconds prior to the intermission.
Williams then began the second half with a triple to make it a four-point game‚ but Mario Chalmers and James knocked down back-to-back treys to ignite a 10-0 tear that gave Miami a 60-46 advantage four minutes into the third quarter.
Minnesota was able to significantly cut into Miami's lead‚ however. A Rubio three followed by Shved's fadeaway just prior to the third-period buzzer brought the margin down to six points heading into the fourth‚ and Luke Ridnour scored the first basket of the final frame to make it a 69-65 game.
The T-Wolves got a little closer shortly afterward‚ with Shved capping a 10-2 sequence with a 3-pointer that pulled his team within 71-68 with 10 minutes to go.
Miami took over from there‚ though‚ embarking on a 15-3 surge over the next 4 1/2 minutes to put the contest out of reach.
The pivotal run was aided by a flagrant 2 foul call on the Timberwolves' J.J. Barea for knocking Allen hard to the floor with 8:09 to go. With the Minnesota guard receiving an automatic ejection‚ Allen hit all three foul shots for an 89-80 Miami edge‚ and the Heat scored seven of the next eight points to pull away.
"It was a really contested game and it did change the whole momentum of the game‚" Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman said of the flagrant 2 foul.