Another one down, 11 to go. The Miami Heat have now won 22 consecutive games, tied for second best in the history of the NBA when it comes to winning streaks, while LeBron James keeps scratching triple double numbers, Dwyane Wade is the perfect sidekick and Ray Allen finally brings his early season ability in a wild fourth quarter.
If there’s any group that would be motivated in a circumstance like this, it’s that team in green. I don’t know if the streak will be a big factor but they love playing against us, and vice versa. That’s what happens when you meet a team consecutively in the playoffs. There’s a history there, and that’s what makes these games special.
The Boston Celtics wait to ruin the Heat’s streak after already beating Miami once this season. The 22 game winning streak began a little bit later, in a win on the road over the Raptors, and it made a pitstop before reaching Boston once again in Canada, with Miami dominating 108-91 thanks to a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter.
LeBron James led the way with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists, while Dwyane Wade led in scoring with 24. Chris Bosh had 18 against his former team, taking it easy on them, compared to his usual barrage of points, while Ray Allen, who hasn’t been exactly dominant since becoming a Heat player except for the early stages of the season, came through with 20 points, 16 of them coming in the fourth quarter.
It’s a special ride right now that we’re on. The best thing about it is we’re doing it together.
The Heat went on a 28-4 run from 11:08 to 4:02 of the fourth quarter after the Raptors tied the game at 77, and sent their big three to the bench after taking that 24 point lead. Allen was the best player on that impressive run, scoring 16 points (4-5 from beyond the arc), finally finding a way to keep the Raptors out of the paint and off the offensive glass – Toronto had 27 offensive rebounds and outscored the Heat 62-38 in the paint. They had only 2 offensive rebounds and 2 second chance points during their run, including keeping them at 0-12 from outside the paint.
The Heat have been at their best in the fourth quarter during the 22-game win streak, outscoring teams by 105 points (just under 5 points per quarter) during the final 12 minutes of games, followed by 82 points in the first quarter, 43 points in the second and 15 in the third. It’s a start and finish squeeze, with some rest in the middle of all of it.
You talk about a well-oiled machine, those guys are efficient both offensively and defensively. They do it in a classy way. They are well put together.
And as the Heat find new ways to win (it does get boring doing it the same way, doesn’t it?), this time having 84 points from their big 3.5, it seems the challenges to find motivational reasons to keep up the intensity and the focus, most importantly keeping the streak alive, are running out. The Boston Celtics, with the whole rivalry and home court pride, should pride an ample challenge and motivational purpose for the Heat to keep pushing despite running low on batteries.