Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat’s regular season dominance came on the back of a 27-game winning streak that defined the team’s excellence. Coincidentally, the Heat’s hope of a championship now rest on whether the team can win just two games in a row.
After losing Game 5 of the 2013 NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs, the Heat return to the friendly confines of the AmericanAirlines Arena needing to win two games in a row to capture a second consecutive championship.
Compounding the problems for the Heat are San Antonio has already won one game at the AAA in the NBA Finals and Miami hasn’t been able to put together a two-game winning streak in over one month.
To fully understand how difficult what Miami faces, consider this: since 1985, the NBA Finals have had ten Game 5’s; out of those 10 games, the winner of Game 5 has won the championship seven times.
Miami hasn’t won consecutive games since the Eastern Conference Semifinals when it won four in a row against the Chicago Bulls. But, if there’s one thing Heat fans can hang their hat on it’s that Miami plays its best basketball in South Florida.
In the 2012-2013 season, the Heat ran off a 37-4 regular season record inside the friendly confines of the AmericanAirlines Arena. Plus, San Antonio put together just a 23-18 record on the road during the regular season.
Of course that was the regular season and since then the Heat is just 7-4 during the current playoff run. On the flip side, San Antonio is 7-2 on the road in the 2013 NBA playoffs and need to get just one more victory to capture the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Miami won 27 games in a row this season, but if the Heat can’t manage just a two-game winning streak to get to 82 victories this season, then the era of the Big Three will lose two of three NBA Finals.