The Los Angeles Lakers made it look easy when they racked up win after win after win for an NBA-record 33 straight games.
The Miami Heat, not so much.
We’re going to get everybody’s best shot because of the streak, Heat guard Mario Chalmers said.
That’s why instead of savoring the 27 in a row they’ve already won, the Heat is bracing for perhaps one of the biggest road tests so far in their pursuit of those Lakers. Miami plays at Chicago tonight, a renewal of a rivalry that, on paper, certainly has lost some of the sparkle it had a year or two ago.
The Bulls still don’t have injured point guard Derrick Rose back in the lineup and have lost 13 of their past 22 games.
Our historic run is about winning championships, Heat star LeBron James said. That’s what we want to be known for. It’s part of a process. Whatever comes in between that, we can be excited about it. We didn’t have a goal in mind to say, Let’s go on a long consecutive win streak,’ but our goal is to win every game when we are on the floor.
In recent days, that hasn’t been easy. Boston had the Heat down by 17 early and 13 in the fourth quarter. Cleveland put Miami in a 27-point hole, and in Detroit and Charlotte, the Heat trailed by 11 before pulling away. On Monday night, the Orlando Magic and Heat were tied late in the third quarter before James keyed a 20-2 run that changed everything.
Chicago has beaten the Heat once this season, on Miami’s home floor. On Friday, the Heat heads to New Orleans, where the Hornets just snapped Denver’s 15-game winning streak. And Sunday’s game at San Antonio is against not only the Western Conference leader and potential NBA Finals opponent, but also likely will have huge implications for the No. 1 overall playoff seed.
Pacers hope to get injured back soon
Pacers coach Frank Vogel says he’s hoping to get all four of his injured players back during a four-game road trip that begins tonight.
Indiana played Monday night without swingmen Danny Granger (patellar tendinitis in left knee) and Lance Stephenson (strained right hip flexor), point guard George Hill (strained left groin) and power forward David West (sprained lower back).
KNICKS 100, CELTICS 85: In Boston, J.R. Smith scored 32 points, Carmelo Anthony added 29 and New York extended its winning streak to five games. The Celtics were led by Jeff Green with 19 points and Paul Pierce with 16.
TIMBERWOLVES 105, PISTONS 82: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 11 rebounds as Minnesota sent Detroit to its seventh straight loss at home. Minnesota had lost 10 of its past 11 road games.