With a victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday night, the Miami Heat can extend their current winning streak to 23 games. As if we needed more reasons to be amazed by LeBron James and his teammates, this could go down as one of one of the most dominant stretches pro basketball has ever seen.
Since Feb. 1, the Heat haven't lost a game. That's 22 consecutive victories.
In the past 40 years, no NBA team has won 23 consecutive games. In the entire 68-year history of the league, only the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers have reached such heights.
Miami is tied with the 2007-08 Houston Rockets for the second-longest win streak in history. That team, led by Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, saw its streak end on this exact day five years ago against a Paul Pierce-led Celtics squad.
Pierce looks to bring down his second 22-game win streak Monday night against the Heat. As a guy who has talked some trash about Miami, Hot Hot Hoops, SB Nation's Heat blog, wonders if Pierce, "can put his money where his mouth is."
Pierce has been on the other side of these kinds of games, too, as part of the Celtics' 19-game winning streak back in 2008. Only four teams -- this year's Heat, the '08 Rockets, the '72 Lakers and the '71 Milwaukee Bucks -- have had winning streaks of 20 games or longer.
Combing over the first 22 games of Miami's incredible streak, one thing strikes more than any other: you don't win that many games in a row without some weird stuff happening.
Just a few examples:
- Over a three-game span this month, James missed 24 of his 40 shots from the field en route to just 18 points per game. LeBron had a five-game span this season where he missed 20 shots -- he took 76.
- Miami's toughest win during the entire streak has been outlasting the Orlando Magic, 97-96, on March 6 when James hit a game-winning shot with 3.2 seconds left. Orlando has as many wins in the past three months (six) as Miami does in the past two weeks.
- Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins combined to score 86 points against the Heat in a 141-129 overtime game on Feb. 26. Then again, James, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen combined for 100.
In order to reach the Lakers' all-time record of 33 straight wins, the Heat will need to win every game through a April 6 match-up against the Philadelphia 76ers. In that time, Miami will play both Chicago and San Antonio on the road, as well as New York at home.