MINNEAPOLIS The 1971-72 Lakers can exhale. Their 33-game winning streak is still the NBA's longest.
The current crop of Lakers took some pride in its preservation after the Miami Heat's streak ended at 27 with a 101-97 loss Wednesday to the Chicago Bulls.
Some players were even happy.
"In a big way, I am," said Pau Gasol, who in his six seasons with the Lakers has become friends with the coach of that '71-72 team, Bill Sharman. "I'm glad that we kept the streak. It was about time that Miami lost."
The Heat put together a string of come-from-behind victories to prolong its winning ways since a Feb. 1 loss to Indiana, but it finally ended against Chicago as Bulls fans chanted "End of streak! End of streak!"
The Lakers (37-35) have been pretty preoccupied in recent weeks trying to keep their heads above .500. Most of them still kept at least a casual eye on the Heat streak.
"I guess now that it's over, it's kind of nice that the Lakers still have it," Steve Blake said.