5 Best Contests From The HEAT’s 27-Game Winning Streak
It’s funny how two simple words can embody such a memorable time.
From Feb. 3, 2013 – March 25, 2013, the HEAT won 27 straight games and ranked first in both net rating (12.9) and true shooting percentage (59.9).
The Big 3 was at the peak of its powers, and a strong supporting cast of Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen made things even tougher for the opposition.
In other words, Miami essentially ran roughshod through the league for a month and a half.
Before catching every game of the run on FOX Sports Sun starting on Tuesday, let’s go through some of the best moments below.
Feb. 12, 2013 vs. Blazers – The King Of Efficiency
With the HEAT entering this one winners of five straight and LeBron James on the cusp of making history (more on that in just a bit), the Blazers came to town looking to play spoiler. And Portland, powered by LaMarcus Aldridge and rookie Damian Lillard, almost did just that.
After leading by as many as 14 in the second quarter and then relinquishing their lead, the Blazers continued to hang in there and actually took a 102-101 advantage with 4:38 left. But as usual, Miami answered with a 16-2 run to close out the game and earn their sixth-straight victory.
And while everyone contributed in the win (Chris Bosh led the HEAT with 32 points and 11 rebounds and Dwyane Wade finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists), the night belonged to James.
Thanks to his 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting, James became the first player in NBA history to score at least 30 points and shoot at least 60 percent from the field in six-straight games.
“[I’m at a] loss for words,” James said after the game. “Like I say over and over, I know the history of the game. I know how many unbelievable players have come through the ranks and have paved the way for me and my teammates. And for me to be in the record books by myself with such a stat, any stat, it’s big time. And it’s a tribute to…my teammates allowing me to do that, my coaching staff putting me in positions to succeed, and I just try to go out and do it.”
Oh yeah, it was also Miami’s 1,000th regular season victory.
Talk about a memorable evening.
Feb. 26, 2013 vs. Kings – Whatever It Takes
Although the Kings came into the contest at 19-38, they played like anything but a sub-.500 team in this one. In particular, Marcus Thornton caught fire with 12 points in the second quarter and helped Sacramento take a narrow two-point lead into the break.
Luckily enough, Wade and James cooked the Kings with regulative ease and pretty much got whatever they wanted. And when Miami took a nine-point advantage with 4:01 left in the fourth, it seemed to be over.
Except that it wasn’t.
Rather, Thornton and a young DeMarcus Cousins led the charge on a 16-7 run to force OT.
Wade missed what would have been the game-winner at the end of regulation and then Bosh followed in kind in the first OT.
But enough was enough.
The HEAT buckled down in the second OT and outscored the Kings 17-5 in the final frame to win it 141-129.
James amassed a game-high 40 points on 14-of-23 shooting from the field and 11-of-12 from the line, a game and then career-high 16 assists, eight boards, two steals and a block, while Wade had 39 points on 19-of-28 shooting, eight rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks.
March 6, 2013 vs. Magic – LBJ Wins It
In large part due to the Big 3, Miami raced out to 55-40 halftime lead and seemed to be well on their way towards an easy win.
However, the Magic had other plans.
Nikola Vučević spearheaded a comeback in the third, and both he and Jameer Nelson helped Orlando take a 91-87 lead with 5:03 left in the fourth.
James wasn’t having any of it, though, as he scored seven of the HEAT’s final 10 points, including the game-winning layup…
…to finish with a game-high 26 points and escape with a 97-96 victory.
March 18, 2013 at Celtics – Making History
Alright, so, you likely remember this game for…
But this battle with the Celtics had more to offer.
Boston started off red hot from the field and were paced by Jeff Green’s 26 points at the half. And even though Green would continue his onslaught into the third quarter (he finished with a career-high 43 points), James, Chalmers and Wade kept the HEAT within striking distance.
And after a big three by Rio in the fourth was answered by Avery Bradley, James made Miami’s last two buckets…
…to come away with the 105-103 win.
LBJ tallied 37 points (a game-high 13 in the fourth) on 16-of-29 shooting, a game-high 12 assists, seven boards, two steals and two blocks. Chalmers, meanwhile, ended up with 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-5 from deep, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.
As a result, the HEAT surpassed the Rockets for the second longest single-season winning streak in NBA history.
March 20, 2013 at Cavaliers – The Comeback
Two nights later, Miami found itself in yet another dogfight.
This time around, though, they had to climb out of a huge deficit against the Cavs.
In fact, the HEAT fell behind by 27 points with 7:44 left in the third. But after Bosh and Battier closed the gap and ended the period on a high note, James took over the reins and went off for a game-high 14 points in the fourth.
As part of that explosion, James scored 11 straight points for Miami to give his team a lead it would never relinquish.
Of course, Allen and Chalmers also hit some vital treys to keep the HEAT ahead and extend their winning streak.
That sharpshooting duo combined for 27 points on 6-of-12 shooting from downtown, whereas James recorded a triple-double with 25 points, 12 boards and 10 assists (all of which were game-highs).
“We had to dig deep for this one,” James said after the game. “…every team is going to give us a good shot. No matter their record, no matter who’s out on the floor, we’re going to get their best. And we should enjoy [and] embrace that because it picks up our level of intensity as well.”
By responding to every team’s best shot during the streak, the HEAT forged the mental toughness required to eventually become back-to-back NBA champions.