It doesn’t take much to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves these days, but that doesn’t mean that the Miami Heat setting a new franchise record with 15 consecutive wins isn’t impressive. The worrying part for the rest of the NBA is that Dwyane Wade and LeBron James don’t seem to be in the business of slowing down.
The Heat did need to wait till the final quarter to finally breakaway from the hosts, eventually winning 97-81, their 10th win of the streak in double figures, and their 7th consecutive win on the road – something that was a big problem for them during the earlier stages of the season.
Dwyane Wade, who has been in excellent form during the streak, averaging 23.4 points in the last 10 wins, led the team with 32 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists. Still, it probably took the Barea ejection to change the momentum of the game, which was quite weird, even for NBA officials. It was hard to understand how that foul became a flagrant 2, but it didn’t matter. Ray Allen got away with overreacting, and the Timberwolves lost their cool, and eventually the game.
Why is that a Flagrant-2 foul tonight and the other night Jarrett Jack hit Stiemsma in the stomach with a forearm that that was a Flagrant 1? I would just like to know the difference. That changed the whole game. I’ve been playing in the NBA for seven years. get hit harder than that every night. I don’t get up crying and want to fight.
LeBron James, with a hurt knee, still played 35 minutes, although it was probably more his decision than Spoelstra’s, who would have liked to give James a chance to rest it in a game that despite the luxury of the winning streak, didn’t mean all that much.
How was James on a banged up knee? 20 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals. Nothing special compared to what we’re used to seeing from the NBA’s MVP, and the favorite to win the award for the fourth time in five seasons, but pretty good for the rest of the league, or at least most of it.
My knee responded well from that fall yesterday. I’m blessed. It’s nothing really, a little jam when I landed on the floor. Any time you get an opportunity set a record, it’s great for the organization and the guys involved. But we want to keep going. We want to keep winning each game by itself. We don’t talk about the streak, we just go to the next game and play it out. We look forward to the next one.
During the streak, the Heat made sure that what was in doubt not too long ago – their chances of securing the top spot in the Eastern conference, was no longer an uncertainty, opening a 7 game lead over the Indiana Pacers and 7.5 over the New York Knicks, although they still need to beat the Pacers to get their revenge tour over. With Tony Parker now out for a while, they might have a shot at getting the best record in the NBA, securing home court advantage in case they and the Spurs make the NBA finals, although it’s probably not worth the effort if it means having James in less than 100% for the postseason.