The Miami Heat didn’t have Dwyane Wade, but it didn’t seem to matter.
The Heat easily handled the Orlando Magic on Monday 108-94 to push their season-best winning streak to 27 games, inching closer to the NBA all-time record. For the second consecutive night LeBron James flirted with a triple double, ending with 24 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds.
The Heat won the game with Dwyane Wade still out with a sore right knee.
The game was close through halftime, until the Heat went on a 13-o run that spanned the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter to seize control. The Miami lead reached as high as 20 points before Erik Spoelstra pulled his starters, bringing a look of feigned frustration from LeBron as he narrowly missed a triple-double.
Monday’s contest was a rare blowout between the two teams when they’ve faced this season. In two other meetings this year, the lowly Magic took the Heat to the wire before Miami pulled through in both games.
The Heat are now six games away from the all-time winning streak of 33 set by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1971-72. The steak seems to have captivated the country, even those who see the Heat as the villains of the NBA.
Even Lakers legend Jerry West — who played on the record-setting team — is on board.
West said he loves to watch the team play and is pulling for them to break the record. He had praise for LeBron in particular.
“He’s an amazing player,” West said last week. “And, frankly, I’m thrilled for him because of all the negative things said about him as a player. He’s improved as a player, but more importantly as a person.”
The win gives the Miami Heat the second-longest winning streak in all of American major sports. The baseball New York Giants won 26 straight games in 1916 and the New England Patriots won 21 straight over the span of 2003 and 2004.