With a playoff spot wrapped up, and a 9.5 game lead for the top mark in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat can focus on writing themselves into the record books Wednesday night, when they start a five game road trip against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Miami’s 19-game winning streak is tied for the fifth best mark in league history. If successful against the Sixers, the Heat will join the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks, and the long defunct 1947-48 and 1948-49 Washington Capitols, who each won 20 consecutive games for the NBA's third-best all-time streak.
The Heat downed the Atlanta Hawks 98-91 Tuesday, despite LeBron James’s poor shooting night. Dwyane Wade took over Miami’s offense for 23 points and six assists, with five steals. James went 3-for-11 from the field for 15 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.
Forward Chris Bosh continued to struggle on the boards, with his second-straight three-rebound game. Bosh’s rebounding average has dropped every year he’s been in Miami, and during the win streak he’s only grabbed 10-plus rebounds four times.
Leading the season series 2-0, Miami previously faced the Sixers last week in a 102-93 win, with James scoring 25 points and hauling in 10 rebounds.
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The Sixers have gone 2-12 in their last 14 games, and speculation insists head coach Doug Collins will not be with the team next season.
Eight games out of the East’s final playoff spot, Philadelphia enjoyed a rare 106-97 victory against the Brooklyn Nets Monday.
Using a strong 29-18 second quarter, Spencer Hawes led Philadelphia with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. The Sixers committed only six turnovers, and guard Jrue Holiday chipped 15 points with 11 assists.
The game begins at 7 p.m. eastern time, and will be broadcast by Sun Sports and CSN Philadelphia, or you can watch a live online stream by purchasing NBA League Pass Broadband here.
Betting Odds: Miami is favored by 9 points
Over/Under: 193 points
Prediction: Streaks like Miami’s are usually derailed by an unsuspecting opponent like Philadelphia, and the Heat will be on the second half of a back-to-back. Hawes could also cause serious problems on the boards. If James corrects his shooting miscues, Miami should cruise to their 20th straight win.
Predicted: Miami 98, Philadelphia 92