Heat beat Raptors to equal second-best win streak at 22
TORONTO, Canada (AFP) –
The reigning NBA champion Miami Heat matched the second-longest win streak in league history on Sunday, defeating hosts Toronto Raptors 108-91 for their 22nd consecutive triumph.
After pulling level with the 2007-08 Houston Rockets for the No. 2 all-time victory run by ripping the Raptors, the Heat players can claim the mark all for themselves by winning their 23rd game in a row on Monday night at Boston.
Only the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who own the all-time record of 33 wins in a row, have had a longer NBA win streak that Miami’s ongoing run.
The Heat, whose last defeat came on February 1 at Indiana, won their 11th consecutive meeting with Toronto, improving to an Eastern Conference-best 51-14 while the Raptors fell to 26-41.
Miami also defeated Toronto on February 3 to launch the historic streak.
Dwyane Wade scored 24 points and added nine assists for Miami while LeBron James scored 22 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and contributed eight assists. Ray Allen came off the bench to score 20 points and Chris Bosh added 18 points.
Rudy Gay led Toronto with 27 points while Amir Johnson scored 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds and Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points.
Allen scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, when the Heat broke open a close game.
Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan scored the last four points of the third quarter and the Raptors pulled within 76-75 early in the fourth quarter, but Miami went on a 29-6 scoring spurt after that, leading 105-81 after a Shane Battier 3-pointer to seize command for good.
James scored eight points and Bosh added seven in the first quarter as the Heat pulled ahead 27-19. Miami stretched the lead to 55-43 at half-time on a 3-pointer by James, who netted a game-high 17 first-half points.