James had 21 points, eight assists and 14 boards for his first double-digit rebounding game of the season, leading the Heat to a 103-82 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
Dwyane Wade had 19 points and five rebounds in his return from a two-game absence and the Heat controlled the glass until garbage time after getting hammered on the boards by Detroit and Chicago in consecutive losses. James’ 14 boards tied his high in a Heat uniform.
Kevin Martin scored 19 points for the Timberwolves. But they sorely missed Kevin Love, who was with his family following the death of his grandmother on Wednesday night.
The Wolves shot a season-low 29.3 percent .
LAKERS: Kobe Bryant is expected to play about half of today’s game against Toronto in his return from a torn Achilles.
“I don’t think it’s a magical number,” coach Mike D’Antoni said after practice Saturday when asked about a minute range for Bryant. “He’s totally well and ready to go. I think he’ll be limited by his wind and ability to be able to take the pounding. So, I would be surprised if more than in the twenties. It shouldn’t be any more than that.”
Among the biggest questions surrounding Bryant’s return nearly eight months after he left the lineup is whether he can still produce like he did when he averaged 27.3 points and 6.0 assists a season ago.
76ERS: Guard Michael Carter-Williams sat out the 76ers’ game Saturday night against Denver, the second consecutive game he has missed because of a skin infection on of his right knee.
The rookie spent his third night in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Carter-Williams is averaging 17.7 points and 7.3 assists and leads the NBA with 3.1 steals per game.
BULLS: Forward Luol Deng did not play against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night because of tightness in his left calf.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Deng has been dealing with the injury since the teams met in Detroit on Nov. 27, a 99-79 win.