Heat make it 20 in a row

PHILADELPHIA – LeBron James scored 27 points and the Miami Heat became the fourth team to win at least 20 consecutive games in a season, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 98-94 last night.

Against a struggling Sixers team that was revved up like a playoff game, the Heat just found a way to win.

And when it was done, they took the time to admire their mark.

“Twenty is special,” Wade said. “Win 20 games in a row, it’s awesome. You can’t get around it. We’re going to try to go for the next one.”

Wade scored 21 as the Heat needed big baskets in the final 2 minutes to top the Sixers for the milestone win. He stuck with the ball on James’ misses and scored the clutch tip that made it a three-point lead with 29 seconds left and squashed the Sixers’ upset bid.

Only three teams have won at least 20 consecutive games in the same season: the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). The Washington Capitols also won 20 straight, spanning the end of the 1947-48 season and the start of the 1948-49 campaign.

James and the Heat have started to acknowledge just how special this winning streak is in a season that has them running away with the Eastern Conference.

James on fire

James is averaging 26.6 points per game during the Heat’s 20-game winning streak.

Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Gail Goodrich have scored at a higher clip among players on a team with a winning streak of 20 or more games.

Thaddeus Young had 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Sixers, while Jrue Holiday had 21 points and Evan Turner scored.

Other scores: Bucks 93, Wizards 106; Timberwolves 91, Pacers 107; Raptors 88, Celtics 112; Lakers 92, Hawks 96; Suns 81, Rockets 111; Jazz 87, Thunder 110; Bulls 79, Kings 121; Knicks 94, Nuggets 117; Grizzlies 96, Clippers 85; Pistons 97, Warriors 105.

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