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(Saturday, December 7th)
Final Score: Miami 103, Minnesota 82
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James recorded his third double- double of the season and finished two assists shy of a triple-double in the Miami Heat's 103-82 rout of the shorthanded Minnesota Timberwolves.
James finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists for Miami, which got a scare in the first quarter when Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade suffered injuries. Bosh went to the locker room for most of the period to get his eye looked at before returning to start the second. Wade banged knees with Kevin Martin, but stayed in the game and scored 19 points.
Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis added 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the Heat bounced back from consecutive losses to Detroit and Chicago.
Minnesota was without star forward Kevin Love, who was away from the team following the death of his grandmother. Love is expected to rejoin the Wolves on Sunday.
Martin paced the hosts with 19 points, while Nikola Pekovic contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds.
The Heat jumped out to an early 12-4 lead after a Shane Battier trey, but the Wolves dominated the rest of the period. Martin's 3-point play and a pair of Corey Brewer free throws with 2:51 left in the frame had Minnesota in front by a 25-19 score, though Miami recorded the final five points of the quarter.
Allen put the Heat on top for good with consecutive layups early in the second. Wade followed with five straight points, and Miami's 13-2 run later in the frame helped give the visitors a 13-point halftime advantage at 55-42.
Minnesota cut into its deficit early in the third and trailed by just five following a Brewer triple and Luc Mbah a Moute jumper with 8:47 left in the quarter. The Wolves would get no closer, however, as they missed their next six shots and a technical free throw by Martin as the Heat regained control.
James scored three straight times during a 15-1 Miami surge, including an alley-oop off the backboard served up by Wade. Brewer's triple as the third- quarter buzzer sounded finally put an end to the charge, but the Heat took a comfortable 76-60 lead into the fourth and weren't challenged the rest of the way.
Miami has won seven in a row against Minnesota ... The Heat have not lost three games in a row since Jan of 2012 ... Neither team shot the ball well from outside. Miami made 4-of-18 attempts from 3-point range and Minnesota hit 5-of-22 ... The Wolves shot a season-low 24-of-82 (29.3 percent) overall.
12/07 23:12:10 ET