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6:30 AT MIAMI •FSN, NBA-TV (830-AM)

Wolves-Miami game preview

  • December 17, 2012 - 10:51 PM

Preview: The defending NBA champion Heat has won three of its past four after thumping Washington 102-72 at home Saturday and is 15-6 overall. ... Wolves guard Ricky Rubio is expected to sit out the game as part of the plan to bring him back from March knee surgery in measured steps and is not expected to play the second game of back-to-back situations for now. ... The teams met only once last season because of the labor lockout and the Heat won 103-101 on Dwyane Wade's basket with 4.6 seconds left at Target Center in the season's third game. LeBron James had 34 points and 10 assists in that one. The Heat has won the past four meetings between the teams.

Players to watch: James has scored at least 20 points in each of the first 21 games this season. That's a career best, surpassing his previous high of seven in the 2004-05 season. Dating to last season, he has scored 20 or more in 26 consecutive regular-season games and 42 in row if you include the playoffs. Those 26 games are a Heat regular-season record, surpassing Wade, who has had such streaks of 20, 21 and 23 games.

Injuries: Rubio is not expected to play. Wolves F Josh Howard, G Brandon Roy, F Chase Budinger and G Malcolm Lee all are out with some sort of knee injury or other. The Heat lists no injuries.

JERRY ZGODA

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