Heat focus on post-streak goals

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 28, 2013
Take heart, Heat. Look out, NBA. When the Los Angeles Lakers' 33-game winning streak ended, they hit a bit of a lull before rolling through the playoffs and winning the NBA title. That scenario likely would suit Miami just fine since the defending champions have said all along they were focused on repeating more than breaking a record. Dwyane Wade even sounded relieved Miami's run stopped at 27, courtesy of the Chicago Bulls. ''Now that it's over, I'm glad it's over,'' he said after the 101-97 loss Wednesday night, his team's first defeat in nearly two months. ''It really didn't matter to us,'' Wade said. ''If you get it, it's awesome. If you don't, we still won 27 games in a row. That's pretty awesome. So we really weren't like, `We've got to get that record.' Not at all.'' So, with their name firmly attached to the second-longest streak in NBA history, the Heat did what they would have done if it had still been going strong. They took Thursday off in New Orleans, where they'll face the Hornets on Friday night. While the circus atmosphere around the team slows down - until the playoffs, anyway - the Heat can turn to the business of wrapping up the final 11 games of the regular season without what some may call a ''distraction.'' Clinching the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed is a foregone conclusion, and the Heat leads San Antonio by two games in the race for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Still, Lakers star Kobe Bryant urged LeBron James and his teammates to savor the moment. ''I think just as a student of the game, as a fan of the game, you appreciate those kind of streaks and you realize how difficult it is to put together that big of a streak,'' he said. ''Obviously, the Lakers winning 33 in a row was phenomenal, but the Heat's one was just as impressive.'' After their streak ended, those `71-72 Lakers lost four of their next six games. But they went 15-2 to close the regular season, then lost only three of 15 playoff games on the way to the title. That's the only measure of success for the Heat. ''At the end of the day, a win is a win in our league,'' said James, the reigning MVP who averaged exactly 27 points per game during the 27-game streak. ''We've gotten better throughout the season. Each and every month we've improved. We've started from behind some games, but for the most part we've played some great basketball.'' They blew out some teams and rallied in the final minutes to beat others, erasing double-digit deficits and pulling off 11 fourth-quarter comebacks in their 7 1/2-week run of dominance. Entering Thursday, 10 NBA teams hadn't won 27 games all season. ''Really proud of the grind of the last few weeks from my guys,'' Miami forward Shane Battier wrote on Twitter early Thursday. ''The focus and effort (and luck) was phenomenal.'' They were must-see television, with ESPN and NBA TV scrambling to pick up Heat games as the streak rolled along. ESPN said the overnight rating for Heat-Bulls was the fifth-best of any regular-season game ever shown on the network. For those who still need streaks to follow, there are plenty of options. Women's basketball is full of them right now, with Baylor (32), Notre Dame (28) and Delaware (27) all streaking into NCAA regional games this weekend. In men's college basketball, Louisville takes a 12-game winning streak into its Midwest Regional semifinal against Oregon on Friday night. And in the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins were trying for a 14th straight win against Winnipeg on Thursday night. To put it in perspective, Heat's streak not only is the second-longest in NBA history, but the second-longest among any of the four major professional sports. The longest current NBA streak now belongs to the New York Knicks - six games. On Friday, the Heat begin anew. Miami would need to win every game left on its schedule and sweep all four playoff series to end the year with another 27-game winning streak. Meantime, Wade offered this: ''Now that it's over, let's look back on it as something that was great.''
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin


Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker