NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 7th
(All times Eastern)
Miami Heat (14-5) at Minnesota Timberwolves (9-10), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Miami Heat will try to get back on track after back-to-
back losses Saturday night when they visit the Target Center to take on the
The Heat fell at home to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, then got clobbered by
the Chicago Bulls in the Windy City on Thursday, 107-87. In the two losses,
the Heat shot their lowest field-goal percentages of the season.
"We would love to shoot 50 percent every game, but there's going to be times
we need to gut out a win," said LeBron James.
In addition to shooting a season-low against Chicago, the Heat allowed the
Bulls to shoot 50 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from behind the 3-
point line. Another telling stat was the rebounding margin. The Bulls beat
Miami on the glass, 49-27, and the Pistons out-boarded the Heat, 46-34.
"We've never been a great rebounding team. We've been able to overcome that,"
explained James. "I'm going to do a better job of that. It's a group thing for
our team. We don't have a Kevin Love, or a Joakim Noah, or a Dwight Howard
those type of guys that can go out and get you 15-plus. We've got to do it by
the collective group."
Dwyane Wade missed the Bulls game with the flu and James led the way with 21
points. Michael Beasley netted 15 off the bench and Norris Cole added 12 in a
reserve role. Chris Bosh managed 10 points.
Miami will visit Detroit on Sunday to complete the road trip.
The Wolves haven't played since a 113-103 loss in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
They were scheduled to meet the San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City on Wednesday,
but a generator malfunction occurred and filled the venue with smoke. The game
will be made up in Minnesota at a later date.
The Wolves may be without Love, their All-Star power forward. His maternal
grandmother, Carol Lee Craig, passed away Wednesday night. Love left the team
to be with his family after returning from Mexico. He didn't practice on
Friday and the team doesn't know his availability for Saturday, although he'll
most likely miss the game.
With the Mexico City debacle behind them, the Wolves need to play better.
They've lost four of their last five, including the setback in Oklahoma City.
Minnesota was five ahead after three quarters, but completely fell apart over
the final 12 minutes. OKC outscored the Wolves, 35-20 to win by double
"Fourth quarter, we just went with that small lineup and had some
miscommunication and they kind of took control of the game then," Minnesota
head coach Rick Adelman said.
Kevin Martin led the way for Minnesota with 24 points, followed by 22 and 10
rebounds from Nikola Pekovic. Love notched 16 points and 12 boards and Corey
Brewer added 10 points.
The Heat have won six straight against the Timberwolves and five in a row in
12/07 10:41:35 ET