Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 12/18/12
MIAMI One of Pat Rileys favorite sayings is, Norebounds, no rings.Perhaps the Miami Heat president, an eight-time NBA championas a player, assistant coach, head coach and executive, will need to amend it.The defending champion Heat entered Tuesday with thesecond-best record in the East despite having been outrebounded on the season.But what they pulled off in a 103-92 victory over Minnesota at AmericanAirlinesArena was mystifying.Miami (16-6) was outrebounded a stunning 52-24, but stillsomehow won. According to www.BasketballReference.com,teams that had outrebounded foes by 28 or more had been 106-3 since the start ofthe 1985-86 season.Theres always a chance, quipped Heat forward ShaneBattier when told that stat.Battier then was reminded of the line from Dumb andDumber in which Jim Carreys mentally challenged character Lloyd Christmasasks a girl about the chances of getting a date and is told theyre one out ofa million. Lloyd responds, So you're telling me there's a chance. Yeah!It didnt look early on as if there would be much ofa chance for the Heat to win if they continued to get hammered on the boards.They were down 27-21 after a first quarter in which they were outrebounded18-3. The margin on the boards soon reached 21-4, and Miami trailed by nine.I havent seen a (rebounding) deficit like that, saidHeat forward LeBron James, who scored 22 points, had 11 assists and four blocksand was Miamis leading rebounder with a whopping seven. I think at one point,I looked up (and the rebounding margin) was like 18-3. We were getting killedon the glass. We just had to keep fighting, figuring out ways.The Heat continued to get slaughtered on the boards but theydid enough things to turn the game around and led by as many as 19 points inthe fourth quarter. When it got to that point, pages were being turned in NBArecord books to see if a team ever had won a game by 20 points while gettingoutrebounded by 20.There also was a curiosity during the game to see if Minnesotaforward Kevin Love might outrebound the Heat all by himself. Love led 14-11 athalftime and it was tied 16-16 after the third quarter before Love slowed downand the Heat were able to outrebound him 24-18 for the game.As it turned out, it still had been 18 years since a teamhad outrebounded a foe by 28 and lost. Of the three teams that had lost suchgames since 1985-86, the biggest margin of defeat had been five.Were a good team, center Chris Bosh said of how theHeat who have won three games this season while being outrebounded by 10 ormore are able to overcome problems on the boards. Good teams always find away to win, and this is a process where we have to figure out how to reboundcollectively as a unit.Rebounding often has been an issue with Bosh, who grabbed anembarrassing two in 27 minutes on Tuesday. Forward Udonis Haslem is the leadingrebounder in Heat history but he didnt get a single board in 18 minutes.But dont blame Battier, who grabbed five in 29 minutes offthe bench. He more than doubled his seasonal average of 2.2 coming in.Well, you better be strong in other areas of the game,Battier said of how the Heat were able to win despite the huge reboundingdeficit. We had 14 blocked shots and 12 steals. You have to make up for itsomewhere else, and we shot a great percentage on 3s (13 of 25 for 52 percent).Thats not an easy way to win. You have to do your work somewhere else.James did plenty of work with his filling up of the statsheet. So did Miami guard Dwyane Wade, who shot 8 of 14 for a game-high 24points. He also had four assists, two blocks and two steals.Perhaps Heat fans can thank TV analyst Charles Barkley forWades recent turnaround. Since the Hall of Famer, who once did cell phonecommercials with Wade, began saying on the air in November that Wade is pasthis prime, the 30-year-old has averaged 21.8 points and shot 58.2 percent ineight December games. Before that, Wade had averaged 18.2 points and shot 46.4percent in his first 11 games.Wade played just 27 minutes against the Timberwolves(12-11), sitting out the entire fourth quarter. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra saidhe thought of putting Wade back in after Minnesota had trimmed the 19-pointdeficit to nine and later to eight, but that Wade already had cooled down.As it turned out, Spoelstra was just happy to survive one ofmost bizarre statistical games hes ever seen.I dont know how many times Ive seen that where you getdoubled up on the rebounding and are still able to escape with a win, hesaid.Spoelstras Heat now have been outrebounded on the season byan average of 49.2-47.0 per game. But they still have the same record they didlast season, although that championship outfit outrebounded foes by 1.8 pergame.Stay tuned to see what happens next June. Perhaps Rileywill need to find a substitute for one of his favorite sayings.Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or onTwitter @christomasson
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