Back to back games don’t matter, an neither does the home & away factor. The Miami Heat are beating everyone and anything in their path, with LeBron James back to the performances and numbers we’re used to seeing from him, while Dwyane Wade does the rest as they lead their team to a 20th consecutive win.
The Heat now become only the fourth team in NBA history to win 20 consecutive games in the regular season, joining the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. Only the Lakers won the title out of those three, although that really doesn’t tell the story of the Heat’s dominance this season, especially in the Eastern conference where no one is even remotely close to them at this point.
LeBron James scored 27 points, but needed Dwyane Wade right near the end, when the Sixers came out of nowhere with a 17-4 run to grab a shocking lead in the closing seconds of the game. With 30 seconds left, LeBron James missed a layup, grabbed the offensive board, then missed another layup. Wade was there to make the basket, making it a 3 point lead the Heat didn’t relinquish en route to a 98-94 win and a 49-14 record, putting them 9.5 games ahead of the Indiana Pacers and one game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs.
Twenty is special. Win 20 games in a row, it’s awesome. You can’t get around it. We’re going to try to go for the next one. It shows you he, like many of our guys, are just willing to make winning plays at the end. I miss two gimmes and D-Wade was able to tip ’em home. It was just great of him not giving up on the play and putting us up. When you have a streak like this, you have to have some luck.
James is averaging 26.6 points per game during the win streak, with only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Gail Goodrich averaged more among players on a team with a winning streak of 20 or more games.
This wasn’t the best of performances from the Heat, but it takes more than a big effort from the so disappointing Philadelphia 76ers to knock them off their perch at this moment. When you keep on winning for so long, you come up with ways to win time and time again, even if dominating each and every night is no longer easy.
The Heat were terrible from the outside (5-20) and couldn’t really force the kind of transition game they like to when they’re playing well, forcing only 12 turnovers and scored only 11 fast break points. They had problems on the glass (nothing new) losing the rebounding battle and allowing to many rebounds on on offense. And still, they came up with the win. With LeBron and Wade, it’s about making enough plays to give the opportunity to follow up in the end. This time it wasn’t James who was clutch, but Wade, but it doesn’t really matter.
On paper, the Heat can get to 33. There isn’t a single team in the NBA that the Heat are scared of, finding a way to beat and overcome every disadvantage they have against several opponents. But a winning streak like this takes a toll, and it’d be better to get the losing out of their system before they reach the postseason.