Heat Extends Win Streak to 18, Hawks In a Funk

As for the Great Streak of 2013, it appears the Miami Heat are the winners as they’ve now won 18 straight games.

On Sunday, the Heat (47-14) defeated the Indiana Pacers (39-24). The team now has a win this season against every NBA team and before this win, it had been 0-2 vs. the Pacers.

Mario Chalmers edits

Heat guard Mario Chalmers

Sunday’s win was a team effort with Mario Chalmers leading in scoring at 26 points, Chris Bosh contributed 24 points and Dwyane Wade added 23 points (six steals). King James had a paltry 13 points–his fewest since Feb. 6, 2011 when he had 12 points in the Los Angeles Clippers game.

The Heat found success scoring off of turnovers, as they went 27-15 and shot 56 percent as compared to Indiana’s 41 percent for the night.

For the Pacers, David West had 24 points, Roy Hibbert added 15 points, D.J. Augustin contributed 14 and Paul George had 10. With the loss, the Pacers now sit nine games behind the Heat in the Eastern Conference for third place.

West said of the loss via ESPN, “We didn’t compete from the opening tip. I just don’t think we brought enough competitive fire. LeBron James has 13 points and these other guys — Chalmers has 26 — it’s just not enough. We didn’t compete enough. You can’t beat a team like that in their building as well as they’re playing without competing.”

So what’s next for the Heat?  The 18-game streak is now tied as the seventh longest in league history, and to set a new record, they’ll have to surpass the Boston Celtics who won 19 consecutive games in November and December 2008, reported CBS.com.

The team sits at 3 to 2 to win its second straight NBA Championship. On Tuesday, they will play the slumping Atlanta Hawks (34-28). While 13 games back in the Southeast division, the Hawks sit in the seventh spot in the Eastern conference with playoff hopes wavering.

On Saturday, they lost to the Brooklyn Nets 93-80. It represented the team’s fifth of six loss and coach Larry Drew said his team has “hit  the wall.” While critical, he kept calm about his team’s recent play.

Drew said after the game, “It would have been really easy to go into our locker room after the game and start ranting and raving about our performance tonight. But very early in tonight’s game, I sensed our team was not very energized. Our success is predicated upon whether or not we come out with energy. I kind of sensed that what we’ve gone through over the last two or two-and-a-half weeks caught up with us tonight. Last night’s game against Boston going to overtime, getting in at three o’clock in the morning, I did not sense the group collectively having that energy that I always talk about us playing with. Frankly, I think we hit a wall tonight, big time.”

Not helping the team has been its recent schedule. Beginning on February 20, Atlanta has had 11 games in 18 days, traveling from the east coast, to the west coast and then back. This past weekend they were in the Northeast and for Tuesday’s game they’ll play on the Heat’s home court.

The upcoming week doesn’t look much better but they’ll get some time at home as they’ll host the improving Los Angeles Lakers (33-31) on Wednesday and the Phoenix Suns (22-41) on Friday.

The Hawks need a spark and looking ahead to the postseason, they have 75 to 1 odds to bring home the Championship trophy.

As for the rest of the Southeast division, there’s not a lot to say. The Washington Wizards (20-41), who sit 26.5 games behind, will play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.

Wizards Trevor Ariza scored 26 points in the 104-87 rout over the lowly Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.

For this team, they’re 1000 to 1 to win this year’s Championship and the Bobcats, well, its 5000 to 1.

There’s always next year…

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