Miami blew open a close contest with a 17-six run in the fourth quarter as they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 103-92 behind a 24-point performance from Dwyane Wade on Tuesday.
LeBron James finished with 22 points and 11 assists for the reigning NBA champion the Heat, who captured their fourth victory in five games.
Chris Bosh also scored 15 points to help the Heat prevail in front of a crowd of 19,862 at the American Airlines Arena.
The Heat won despite being out-rebounded by 52-24 and outscored in the paint 58-36.
“At end of the third and fourth quarter our offense was much more efficient,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It is uncanny how they [Minnesota] are able to rebound like that. When we needed it we finally made the adjustments and got some team rebounds.”
Miami shot a superb 52 percent (13-of-25) from three-point range as Mario Chalmers hit four-of-six from beyond the arc. Chalmers had 12 points and Shane Battier went three-of-seven from three-point range.
Andrei Kirilenko had 22 points to pace the Minnesota attack. Nikola Pekovic finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who lost their second straight after compiling a season-best four-game win streak.
Kevin Love grabbed 18 rebounds for Minnesota, but went just two-of-10 from the field while ending with 11 points.
Miami have now won their last five games against Minnesota.
The Heat benefited from being fully healthy. James aggravated his shoulder last Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors, but he was ready to go on Tuesday.
The Timberwolves were coming off a loss on Monday night in Orlando.
They were missing Josh Howard who is out with a hyperextended right knee.
“That is a tough team. They are relentless on the glass,” Spoelstra said of Minnesota.
WARRIORS 103, HORNETS 96
The Golden State Warriors staved off a late fourth-quarter challenge to beat the New Orleans Hornets 103-96 for a successful home return on Tuesday.
David Lee had 26 points and nine rebounds while Klay Thompson added 19 points as the Warriors triumphed in their first game at Oracle Arena since a recent seven-game road trip that saw them finish 6-1.
Despite the Golden State controlling the Hornets for most of the night, New Orleans made a furious run in the fourth to tie the game 92-92 with about four minutes remaining.
Jarrett Jack responded with six free throws during a game-deciding 9-2 stretch to help Golden State (17-8) continue their sparkling start to the season.
“We had a lot of confidence tonight, a lot more confidence than in the past,” Lee told reporters after the Warriors were off to their best start since the 1991-1992 season, when they started 21-8.
“It’s no fun when a team’s catching up on you like that, but I think we had confidence we could make plays down the stretch,” Lee added.
One of the younger teams in the league, few expected the Warriors to open the campaign this successfully and they are now just 1.5 games behind the Pacific Division lead.
The Hornets (5-19) have lost eight straight, despite getting 28 points off the bench from Ryan Anderson in their latest defeat.
Also a youthful group, New Orleans have endured a tough start and have now dropped 18 of their last 20 games.
No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis recorded 15 points and 16 rebounds in his fifth game back since missing extensive time with an ankle injury. Greivis Vasquez added 20 and 11 assists.
Golden State grabbed a 10-point lead after the first quarter and were up 90-78 midway through the fourth before the visitors fought back by outscoring the Warriors 14-2 over a three-minute stint.
“It’s just a tough loss for us, especially when you tie it up, you have a chance to win,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said.
“We just haven’t found that closing mentality,” he added.
In other play, it was:
‧ Lakers 101, Bobcats 100
‧ Hawks 100, Wizards 95, OT
‧ Jazz 92, Nets 90
‧ Bulls 100, Celtics 89
‧ Raptors 113, Cavaliers 99
‧ Bucks 98, Pacers 93
‧ Mavericks 107, 76ers 100
‧ Nuggets 112, Spurs 106