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LeBron, Heat follow familiar pattern to 27th straight victory

Mar 25, 2013, 11:33 PM EDT

Mario Chalmers, LeBron James AP

There are some more interesting tests ahead on the schedule this week — Chicago, a New Orleans team that just ended the Nuggets win streak, then San Antonio. Games where the Heat can’t just coast along and flip a switch.

But they did follow that pattern again Monday — and it worked again. The Heat cruised to their 27th straight win following the pattern of recent games:

The other team comes out fired up, Miami doesn’t match their intensity and the opponent take an early lead. Then Miami follows LeBron James on a big run, pulls away in the second half and wins handily.

Monday night that pattern led to a 108-94 win for the Heat that extended their winning streak to 27 games. As has been drummed into your head by now that is the second longest in NBA history and six games short of the NBA record of 33 from the 1972 Lakers.

The Heat players really don’t want to talk about it, but it’s an amazing feat. And it’s a streak kept alive Monday not so much because the Heat were focused on the game — LeBron was decidedly unfocused for much of the night — but because the Heat (even with Dwyane Wade sitting out his second straight game to rest his knee) had much more talent on the court than a banged-up Magic team.

Jameer Nelson was the key to Orlando getting out to an early lead (which never reached double digits but was steady). Nelson knocked down shots (he finished with 27 points on 20 shots) and was making the quick, smart pass when the Heat started trapping him. Orlando took care of the ball, Miami turned it over and the Magic had the lead.

That lead was at 42-37 midway through the second quarter when the Heat flipped the switch for the first time that night — Miami closed the half on n an 18-4 run. The Magic shot 2-of-19 to close out the half and Miami led by nine, in part because they were 8-of-15 from three in the first 24 minutes.

The third quarter started out pretty much like the first half of the game (and really the first half of the Heat season — they coasted again. And Nelson was making plays again — he capped a 15-4 Magic run to tie the game 68-68 with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter.

Then LeBron woke up — he started with a monster dunk that ignited a 10-0 Heat run to close out the third quarter. That run grew to 20-2 into the fourth. The Magic were turning the ball over against the pressure defense, and when you do that against the Heat you get Ray Allen threes in transition and LeBron alley-oop finishes.

It became a rout; before you could blink it was 88-70 Miami. Orlando put on some little runs in the fourth (they play hard for Jacque Vaughn), but the Heat pushed them back, expanded their lead and won handily.

LeBron James feigned frustration (or, maybe not so feigned) when taken out of the game one rebound short of a triple-double — 24 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds. Allen and Chris Bosh each chipped in a dozen, Mario Chalmers had 17.

Miami’s streak is going to get put to a tougher test the rest of the week, but the flip side is they may be more focused from the opening tip. To keep their streak alive from here on out, they are going to have to change the pattern.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Respect to the Denver Nuggets. To paraphrase LeBron, 15 in a row is just crazy. I’m out of here

  2. pantsfreezone - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    I liked the part where LeBron almost Jason Terry’d Beno Udrih.

    I also enjoyed the King’s game within the game where he attempted to get assists in the most beautiful, challenging and sheer crazy ways possible.

    I’m trying to get tickets to see them get #28 at the United Center here in Chicago. I really want to wear my 2012 NBA Champions Heat shirt on the Brown Line Train for a reason next time. Drives Chicagoans nuts.

  3. 13arod - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    the only team that i think that could beat the heat is the thunder

    • pantsfreezone - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      Nope. Their bigs are too useless. A healthy Memphis team or a hot shooting, healthy Clippers squad are the only teams I could see beating Miami in a game 7, and even then I’d only give them a 25% chance at best.

    • hehateme2 - Mar 26, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      Where have you been? the HEAT OWN the thunder. They’re in their heads.

  4. miamatt - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    SEVEN

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 26, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Proof that you can train the brain dead to count.

  5. necr0philia - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    I haven’t been a fan of basketball since MJ left the game, but I have to say that what the Heat are doing is simply Amazing! I scroll thru and read these Articles and the fans reactions and it reminds me of the MJ#23 days in Chi-Town! You guys, fans of the Heat or just B-Ball enjoy whats going on right now because it don’t last long enough!!

  6. egickvengeance7x - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    Reblogged this on egickvengeance and commented:
    LeBron, Heat follow familiar pattern to 27th straight victory

  7. spideysdog - Mar 26, 2013 at 4:48 AM

    well written Kurt. this is about to get tougher. a lot tougher. the reality is, the current slow start pattern will kill them at the United Center or against Pops geriatric crew.

    on the flip side, I could care less if the streak ended tomorrow. to me it doesn’t belittle or take anything away from what they have done. the last time the Heat lost a game Ray Lewis was still an active NFL player. 27 games is absolutely unbelievable.

    in a world where we all like to compare players from generation to generation, I think this is one of the few categories where you can make an apples to apple’s comparison. the Showtime Lake show, the 80s Celtic greats, Michaels 70 win team….. NONE of them did this. two months of not losing? in the dog days of the NBA schedule none the less? absolutely amazing feat.

    I’m not a Heat fan, but wow. congrats to them and their fans.

  8. themagicfanguy - Mar 26, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    @necr0 There are no Heat fans, just Lebron fans.

  9. rodge1 - Mar 26, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    @themagicfanguy
    There are no Magic fans, just Mickey Mouse fans.

  10. loungefly74 - Mar 26, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    all that comes to mind is the Van Halen song “On Fire” off of their debut album. nuff said.

  11. bigrele - Mar 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I think its hilarious how there are no articles as of yet breaking down the Lakers 3rd loss in a row & how they got the floor mopped with em late last night lol! All we read up till these last 3 losses in a row was how they getting Kobe & Pau back blah blah blah, but yet all they’ve done is disappoint as they have ALL SEASON long hahahahaha! and you know who’s been typically absent & quiet; so much for that 8th seed, 1 game removed from losing it too! Msnbc & their usual bias with the Lakers, haven’t seen much posting bout these last 3 losses; doesn’t surprise me……..

  12. 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Okay, I’m just going to say it.

    The 2012-13 Miami Heat is the greatest team I’ve ever seen.

    You may disagree, but I don’t care. And you’re wrong.

    Don’t bother trying to argue. You won’t change my mind. I’ve seen all the teams you’re going to bring up. Those teams are cemented in our memories and our memories are confirmed through carefully produced highlights.

    Watching produced highlights of these teams during their Finals appearances is one thing. Actually watching a regular season game involving these teams is another. Turn on NBA TV when any of the teams you are going to throw out at me are playing and I dare you to just stay awake let alone be overly impressed.

    Watching today’s Heat and then comparing them to yesterday’s whomever would be like watching today’s NCAA Men’s Tourney and then immediately switching over to the NCAA Women’s Tourney. Slow, boring, unwatchable.

    The Heat are so good that people who don’t like/hate the Heat are riveted to every game and go out of their way let their thoughts known on stupid basketball websites (just read the comments below). They’re so good that if they lose one regular season game, ONE!, it will be the biggest sports story of the week, and it will be the crowning achievement of whichever team accomplishes the feat. This isn’t Virginia v. Chamminade. This is the Heat vs. NBA Teams. There are no Prarie View A&Ms in the NBA.

    This is All-Time stuff here people. And it had to be said. Don’t bother arguing.

    • professoressadiesel - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      72-10.

      Nothing to argue there.

    • mydoghasfleez - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      You say “You won’t change my mind.”

      Well someone should. Your current one is malfunctioning.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Are you forgetting about Jordan’s Bulls, Russell’s Celtics, Magic’s Lakers? They all won multiple CHAMPIONSHIPS! They didn’t play against some of the worst teams in NBA history. Magic had to beat Larry & those nasty Piston teams. Jordan had to beat some of the greatest centers of all time in Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, not to mention Karl Malone & John Stockton.
      Who’s LeBron’s competition? He teamed up with the second or third best player in Wade. They took the easy route. The league is so watered down due to expansion. Your boy LeBron even said they needed to contract teams.
      Nobody can ever change a stubborn person’s opinion but it is obvious the talent insn’t there like it was in the 80s & 90’s.

    • loungefly74 - Mar 26, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      well…i think you have a great argument. of course, this is all subjective…but you cant dismiss the 2013 Heat from this discussion…the Heat are incredibly fast…maybe the best transition team in history? could be…Lebron is hands-down the best player in the league…Wade not far behind…along with Bosh, and a solid bench…yeah…this Heat squad has the potential to be iconic.

      as a Laker fan…I am pretty proud of the 2000 squad. that was also a great team. the bench was incredible…Shaq in his prime, Kobe had fresh legs, etc…dang. i’m torn on how they would do against the heat.

      as far as comments of the league being “watered down”…well, i tend to disagree with that. the influx of international players, better trained athletes, and technology regarding scouting/recruiting leads me to believe the league is incredibly wealthy in talent. hmmm…i think talks of a “watered down” league stems from relocation/poor attendance….not the players themselves.

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