Miami Stretch Winning Streak To 25 Games

by
Reuters
His Miami Heat team is 25 games into the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, and the fact that they have fallen behind by double digits in three straight games does not seem to bother the superstar forward.

miami heat

His Miami Heat team is 25 games into the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, and the fact that they have fallen behind by double digits in three straight games does not seem to bother the superstar forward.

"I'd rather finish strong," LeBron James said, "than start fast and finish weak."

James did the former Friday night, putting up 29 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the Heat's 103-89 victory over the Detroit Pistons at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Miami is closing in on the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers' NBA record win streak of 33 in a row. Miami's 25 wins have come in a span of 48 days.

The biggest obstacle to the Heat breaking the Lakers' record appears to be a March 31 date at San Antonio. Before that, a trip to Chicago could be tough. An April 2 date with their rivals, the New York Knicks, is another potential roadblock.

The Heat play a stretch that includes, in order, Charlotte, at Orlando, at Chicago, at New Orleans, at San Antonio, the Knicks and at Charlotte.

If the Heat clear all those hurdles, they could tie the record with a home win over Philadelphia April 6 and break the mark with a home game against Milwaukee (April 9).

"It's crazy," James said of Miami's streak.

The Pistons, meanwhile, have lost 10 games in a row, the longest active losing streak in the league. Detroit was led by Greg Monroe, who had 23 points and 15 rebounds.

Detroit led by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, but that was nothing to a Heat team that this week rallied from 17 down to beat Boston and from 27 down to subdue Cleveland.

The Heat trailed Detroit 54-51 at halftime but surged ahead by outscoring the Pistons 22-14 in the third quarter.

"We were a little bit flat in the first half," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "In the second half, the urgency was much better."

Spoelstra said the Heat's recent slow starts are on his "radar."

"We need to put together a complete game," the coach said. "We haven't had that energetic start we want. But this team, over the past couple of years, has shown that they can address things and improve."

The Heat improved to 31-3 at home. That ties the Denver Nuggets for the best home record in the league.

Miami is 32-2 this season when shooting at least 50 percent from the floor. The Heat also had their 20th consecutive game of at least 20 assists.

The Heat overcame a poor game by forward Chris Bosh and a couple of injury scares. Bosh scored five points on 1-of-7 shooting.

Heat guard Dwyane Wade scored 19 points, although he had a team-high six turnovers. Wade also left the game for several minutes in the third quarter after hurting his wrist on a hard foul from Kyle Singler.

In the fourth quarter, an inadvertent elbow from Heat forward Chris Andersen struck teammate Ray Allen above his eye, drawing blood. Allen, though, returned to the game.

"It's not like they just beat us and no one else," said Pistons point guard Jose Calderon, who had 18 points and seven assists.

"They beat 24 teams before us. A lot of people probably expected them to beat us by 40 or 50 points. But that wasn't going to happen."