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Associated Press , Published December 18 2012

Wolves win rebounding edge, but fall against Heat

MIAMI – The Miami Heat were outrebounded by 28, matching the second-largest margin in team history. They finished with only 24 boards, matching the second-lowest total in any game over the franchise’s quarter-century of existence.

Somehow, none of that mattered.

Dwyane Wade scored 24 points, LeBron James added 22 points and 11 assists and the Heat survived a strangely one-sided night on the glass to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 103-92 on Tuesday night – becoming the first team since 1994 to be outrebounded by such a wide margin and still win, according to STATS LLC.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that, where you get doubled up on the rebounding and still escape with the win,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s a tough team. They’re unique. Relentless on the glass. There’s not many teams like them.”

The final rebounding margin: Minnesota 52, Miami 24.

Chris Bosh scored 15 points and Mario Chalmers added 12 for the Heat, who gave up 21 of the game’s first 24 rebounds.

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 an 18-point, 12-rebound effort for the Timberwolves.

“We were pretty active. What we take away from it is we’ve got to be more physical,” Love said. “I’m not saying we’re soft, but we definitely need to be more physical. And we are in stretches.”

James topped the 20-point mark for the 27th straight regular-season game and 43rd straight overall.

“We’re getting better every night,” James said.

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.

Minnesota 27 22 23 20 – 92

Miami 21 31 28 23 – 103

MINNESOTA (92): Kirilenko 10-16 0-0 22, Love 2-10 7-8 11, Pekovic 9-19 0-0 18, Ridnour 6-13 1-1 13, Shved 1-7 0-2 2, Barea 3-9 3-3 10, Cunningham 1-2 0-0 2, Williams 2-6 3-4 8, Stiemsma 0-1 0-0 0, Amundson 3-3 0-1 6. Totals 37-86 14-19 92.

MIAMI (103): James 8-18 4-5 22, Haslem 0-2 0-0 0, Bosh 6-10 2-3 15, Chalmers 4-7 0-0 12, Wade 8-14 8-11 24, Allen 2-7 3-3 8, Anthony 1-3 0-0 2, Battier 3-8 0-0 9, Cole 3-6 1-1 8, Miller 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 36-77 18-23 103.

3-Point GoalsMinnesota 4-17 (Kirilenko 2-3, Barea 1-3, Williams 1-3, Shved 0-4, Ridnour 0-4), Miami 13-25 (Chalmers 4-6, Battier 3-7, James 2-5, Bosh 1-1, Miller 1-2, Allen 1-2, Cole 1-2). Fouled Out_: None. Rebounds_: Minnesota 52 (Love 18), Miami 24 (James 7). Assists_: Minnesota 17 (Shved 7), Miami 25 (James 11). Total Fouls_: Minnesota 21, Miami 18. Technicals_: Minnesota defensive three second, Haslem. A_: 19,862 (19,600).