Two streaks are over. And therefore, the one that matters most endures.
Entering having lost their last 10 regular-season visits to Boston, the Miami Heat extended their winning streak to 23 on Monday night with a 105-103 victory over the Celtics at TD Garden. The loss also snapped the Celtics' 11-game home winning streak.
The Heat now not only are in sole possession of the second-longest winning streak in league history, but more than two-thirds toward the league's record streak of 33, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
It wasn't easy and it took arguably the Heat's best effort of the streak, battling back from a 17-point deficit and overcoming a career-high 43-point performance from Celtics forward Jeff Green.
But with LeBron James scoring 37 points and adding 12 assists, and with teammates Mario Chalmers adding 21 points, Dwyane Wade 16 and Chris Bosh 13, the Heat found a way.
The winning play was a James 21-foot jumper over Green with 10.5 seconds to play that put the Heat up two.
It wasn't expected to be this difficult, not with Celtics center Kevin Garnett missing the game with thigh and flu issues.
But up stepped Green, eclipsing a 40-point effort by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant as the highest-scoring game against the Heat this season.
And, so, for the first time, the Heat's Big Three have, as a group, tasted regular-season success at TD Garden.
In this case the opponent was particularly meaningful. Five years ago to the date, the Houston Rockets' 22-game winning streak, the one the Heat had tied a day earlier against the Toronto Raptors, ended against the Celtics.
This streak? It's showing no signs of ending, with the Heat's next four against the Eastern Conference's worst teams: at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, home against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, home to the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday night and then next Monday at the Orlando Magic. Each of those teams is at least 20 games under .500.
Heat slip past Celtics 105-103, win streak now at 23
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Mar 19