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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat’s winning streak reached 19 with a victory over the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night, but there’s no rest for the NBA’s hottest team as the Heat look for a 20th straight win Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers.
“It’s a privilege for us to get in our cars and hop on a plane and get into Philly at 4 a.m. after this win and do this again tomorrow night,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s the way we’re going to approach it. No excuses.”
The Heat has not needed excuses for almost six weeks during the 19-game winning streak. The Heat has done it all: blow out teams, win nail-biters, and struggle to beat teams that don’t have the talent to compete with Miami.
Wednesday night was a good example of how the rest of the Heat has started to up their game to match that of LeBron James. LeBron was having an off-night, shooting only 3-11 from the field and scoring just 15 points. Still, the Heat won by 17 over the Hawks.
“We’re not sitting here and saying this is not something special. This is an unbelievable streak that we’re on,” LeBron said. “We’re playing great basketball. We’re winning in different phases of the game, we’re playing different styles, we’ve won every game, on the road, at home, double-overtime games, end-of-regulation games, whatever the case may be.”
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).
Miami now leads San Antonio by 1½ games in the race for the NBA’s best record and is atop the Eastern Conference by 9½ games over Indiana and New York, who were both idle Tuesday. The Heat (48-14) have 20 games left, while the Pacers have 19 and the Knicks 21.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)