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Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012

Heat still perfect after Wade's game-winner


MINNEAPOLIS — LeBron James has always put up big numbers when he comes to Target Center to play the Minnesota Timberwolves. And he rarely has to break a sweat — or play in the fourth quarter — to do it.

News photo
Doing battle: Timberwolves forward Darko Milicic (left) and Heat guard Dwyane Wade vie for a rebound during their game on Friday in Minneapolis. Miami won 103-101. AP PHOTO

Now that Ricky Rubio is running the point and Rick Adelman is calling the shots for the Timberwolves, James and the rest of the NBA are going to have to work for everything they get when they come to town.

Dwyane Wade hit a jumper from the wing, then scored on an inbounds pass from James with 4.6 seconds to play to lift the undefeated Heat to a 103-101 victory over the Wolves on Friday night.

Playing on a sore foot, Wade finished with 19 points, while James had 34 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds on his 27th birthday.

"I'm glad we played them early because later they're going to be trouble," Wade said. "So I think Timberwolves fans will have something to cheer about for a while here."

Celtics 96, Pistons 85

In Boston, Jermaine O'Neal scored 19 points as he and the Celtics ended a dismal start to their season by beating Detroit in their home opener.

Mavericks 99, Raptors 86

In Dallas, reserve center Ian Mahinmi scored a career-high 19 points, Dirk Nowitzki contributed 18, and the reigning NBA champions rallied for their first victory of the season.

Grizzlies 113, Rockets 93

In Memphis, Zach Randolph scored 23 points, Marc Gasol added 20, and the Grizzlies earned their first victory of the season.

Suns 93, Hornets 78

In New Orleans, Hakim Warrick scored 18 points in a reserve role, and Phoenix won for the first time this young season while handing the Hornets their first loss.

Pacers 98, Cavaliers 91 (OT)

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored nine of his 22 points in overtime to help Indiana beat Cleveland.

Magic 100, Bobcats 79

In Charlotte, Dwight Howard had 20 points and 24 rebounds, Ryan Anderson scored 23 points, and Orlando won its third straight game.

Bucks 102, Wizards 81

In Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Bucks over winless Washington.

Jazz 102, 76ers 99

In Salt Lake City, Derrick Favors scored a career-high 20 points and added 11 rebounds in his first start for Utah, and the Jazz avoided their first 0-3 start in 32 years.

Bulls 114, Clippers 101

In Los Angeles, Derrick Rose had 29 points and 16 assists, and Chicago pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Hawks 105, Nets 98

In Atlanta, Jeff Teague scored 22 points, Joe Johnson added 21 and the Hawks won their third straight game to open the season.

Curry ready to return


OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA — One guard back, another one out.

Stephen Curry will likely return to the starting lineup, but backcourt teammate Monta Ellis is expected to be absent when the Golden State Warriors host the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

Curry participated in noncontact drills during Friday's practice and said his sprained right ankle should be healthy enough to play against Philadelphia. Ellis was excused from the workout to attend his grandmother's funeral in Mississippi and it's unclear when he'll return.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he told Ellis to take all the time he needs before returning.

Ish Smith is expected to make his second straight start if Ellis doesn't return against Philadelphia.

"Family is first," Jackson said. "He lost a grandmother who he loves dearly, and we want him to take as much (time) as possible, or as much time that he needs, to take care of home."

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