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Originally published March 4, 2013 at 9:57 PM | Page modified March 5, 2013 at 12:01 AM

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Heat's streak grows hotter with win over Timberwolves

Miami won a franchise-record 15th consecutive game in Minneapolis, 97-81.

The Miami Herald

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MINNEAPOLIS — Sports fans in the Twin Cities were dreaming big Monday as the Heat came to town and the Wild left for Chicago to play the red-hot Blackhawks.

Well, maybe the local hockey team will pull off the upset Tuesday.

Thanks to some sloppy play by the Heat, the Timberwolves kept things close before Miami pulled away to set a franchise record with its 15th consecutive win — this one 97-81 over the Timberwolves.

"Every game is different and this was a tough one mentally that we had to fight through," said Dwyane Wade, who scored a game-high 32 points along with 10 rebounds and seven assists.

"We had a lot of turnovers, but we were playing well. If we didn't turn the ball over, we would have played almost a perfect game. We shot the ball well, moved it well."

The Heat has a few signature wins during this 15-game run — although Minnesota won't be included in that group. The banged-up Timberwolves have lost six in a row and are 6-24 since New Year's Day.

Miami, meanwhile, holds a seven-game lead over Indiana for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

"This was about finding a way to get the win — no matter how," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We were very careless offensively, but at the end of the day we got the win."

LeBron James shrugged off a sore left knee to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds, while Chris Bosh added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Heat.

Derrick Williams had 25 points and 10 rebounds and Ricky Rubio had 14 points, eight assists, six steals and five rebounds for the Timberwolves, who lost J.J. Barea in the fourth quarter when he was ejected for elbowing Heat guard Ray Allen.

Other games

Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points, J.R. Smith added 18 and the New York Knicks overcame a 22-point deficit without All-Star Carmelo Anthony to win at Cleveland, 102-97.

The Knicks trailed 52-30 in the second quarter when Anthony got twisted up after catching a pass near midcourt and dropped to the floor.

Following the game, Anthony said the knee has been sore for several weeks. He underwent an MRI "a couple days ago" and the results were negative, he said, but he didn't know if he'd be able to play Wednesday night against Detroit.

Arron Afflalo scored five of his game-high 26 points in the final 38 seconds to help Orlando win, 105-102, at New Orleans.

Monta Ellis scored 34 points, Brandon Jennings added 20 points and 17 assists, and Milwaukee beat visiting Utah in overtime, 109-108.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 14 rebounds to help Portland hand visiting Charlotte its seventh straight loss, 122-105.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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