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NBA Miami Heat

Strong Rebounding Effort Keys Miami Heat Win vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Steve Mitchell – USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat struggled more than expected, but they managed to get the job done, something that the team hasn’t been able to do on a consistent basis in recent weeks.

The Heat hosted the Los Angeles Lakers and while they didn’t have Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh stepped their game up in the final minutes to lead the Heat to a much needed 109-102 win that confirmed Miami’s superiority on both ends of the court.

While the offensive performance was very good, the real key in the Heat’s win was their leading on the rebounding department, an area where Miami has struggled these past three seasons. They have been at their worst this season – grabbing less than 45 percent of the available rebounds on a nightly basis – but the addition of Greg Oden and the emergence of Chris Andersen have surely helped in that department.

Miami dominated the glass tonight against the Lakers – 48 against 35 – and while they also needed some good scoring performances, their defensive efficiency near the rim was a key factor in the victory. LeBron James led the offense with 27 points, 13 rebounds and six assists and Chris Bosh made some key baskets in the final quarter to finish with 31 points.

It’s clear the Heat are one of the favorites to win the title, but they need to do a lot of work defensively to be on top form come playoff time. They definitively need to sharpen their rotations against better teams, but their recent improvement on the boards is a good sign and that should only help the team down the stretch and during the postseason.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google