When the Miami Heat hit 10 consecutive wins, NBA fans were in awe. When they hit 15 wins, fans and bettors were amazed. Now that the Heat have reached 20 wins, they are beginning to enter record-setting territory.
With their 98-94 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, the 2012-2013 Miami Heat became just the fourth team in NBA history to win 20 consecutive games in a single season. The team had downplayed the significance of the streak in the past couple of weeks, but even they had to admit that reaching this latest milestone was a pretty big deal.
“Twenty is special,” Dwyane Wade said, according to ESPN.com. “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.”
LeBron James led the way for the Heat as usual, putting in 27 points on the night, but it was Wade who came up clutch down the stretch, making big buckets in the final two minutes, including a tip-in off a James miss that put the Heat up by three points with under 30 seconds to play.
The 76ers, who have been limping their way through the second half of the season, were in attack mode against the defending champions, but like each of the last 20 Miami opponents, they came up short.
“At the end, we just couldn’t come up with that one rebound,” 76ers coach Doug Collins said. “I thought we executed, got some shots at the end, and just couldn’t quite find a way to get over the top.”
The Heat are now just one win away from owning sole possession of the third longest streak ever, and winning one game at a time is exactly how the Heat continue to approach things.
“We just think about winning the next game and we’ll see where it takes us,” James said.
And considering they are still 13 victories away from tying the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers’ record mark of 33, it’s probably best that they focus on the current task at hand instead of thinking about setting more records.
One thing the streak has certainly done is take them from NBA championship favorites to overwhelming favorites in the futures odds. Bovada.lv currently has the Heat at 23/20 to win the title this year.
We’ll see if the Heat can keep this incredible streak rolling on Friday as they face off against the Bucks in Milwaukee.