Heat rout Bobcats to run NBA win streak to 26
The Miami Heat won their 26th straight game by crushing the lowly Charlotte Bobcats 109-77 despite playing without their all-star guard Dwyane Wade at American Airlines Arena.
LeBron James shot 11-of-14 from the field en route to a game-high 32 points Sunday as the Heat continued their march towards making National Basketball Association history. The reigning league MVP also had 10 assists and eight rebounds.
"I think it is on everyone else's radar now with just where we are being in second place all time in most consecutive wins," James said of the streak. "For us, we want to just continue to play our game and continue to play the opponents on our schedule."
Chris Bosh chipped in 15 points and Ray Allen had 14 for Miami, who were without Wade because of a sore right knee.
The victory puts the Heat within seven wins of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers' all-time record for consecutive victories. The Heat play at Orlando on Monday.
Kemba Walker scored a team-high 20 points and Gerald Henderson finished with 18 for the Bobcats, who have dropped 14 of their last 17 games.
James said this streak is already more impressive than the '71-'72 Lakers.
"Look at how competitive the game is today," James said. "Back then the leagues were separate. It wasn't a full league. You had the ABA (American Basketball Association) and the NBA and some of the greatest players weren't in (NBA) so the competition wasn't as strong as it is now."
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic took time out from the ATP Tour's Miami Masters tournament to sit courtside at Sunday's game.
Djokovic even had some fun with the crowd by using an oversized tennis racquet to hit a similar-sized giant tennis ball into the seats during a break in the game.
Charlotte tied the game early in the second quarter, but Miami pulled ahead for good with a 10-0 run for a 33-23 lead.
Allen hit a pair of three-pointers and scored the final eight points during the run. The Heat led by as much as 14 in the second quarter and seized an eight point, 47-39, lead at halftime.
Charlotte cut the deficit to 54-49 with just over eight minutes to go in the third quarter, but were outscored 19-8 the remainder of the third.
Miami opened the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run and cruised to the final buzzer.
"You never know when and where your number will be called and we needed it tonight. It was a great team win," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
Miami has now won 11 straight against the Bobcats, including three games this season. The Bobcats, who own the NBA's worst record this season, have beaten the Heat in Miami just twice since coming into the league eight years ago.
The Heat were coming off a 103-89 win over Detroit on Friday. The Pistons compiled a six-point lead in the second quarter and also led at halftime before Miami came storming back in the second half.
Mike Miller started in place of Wade Sunday and finished with six points in 21:38 minutes of action.
Wade is one of the Heat's offensive weapons this season and is averaging 21.5 points, five rebounds and five assists per game.