PHILADELPHIA – LeBron James missed once, then again, whiffing on two easy looks at the rim that could have left Miami shaken.
Like a good teammate, Dwyane Wade swooped in for the saving tip, preserving the lead and keeping the Heats amazing win streak rolling.
James scored 27 points and the Heat became the fourth team to win at least 20 consecutive games in a season, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 98-94 on Wednesday night.
Twenty is special, Wade said. Win 20 games in a row, its awesome. You cant get around it. Were going to try to go for the next one.
Wade scored 21 as the Heat needed big baskets over the final 2 minutes to top the Sixers for the milestone win. He stuck with the ball on James misses and scored the clutch tip that made it a three-point lead with 29 seconds left and squashed the Sixers upset bid.
It shows you he, like many of our guys, are just willing to make winning plays at the end, coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Only three teams have won at least 20 consecutive games in the same season: the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). The Washington Capitols also won 20 straight, spanning the end of the 1947-48 season and the start of the 1948-49 campaign.
HAWKS 96, LAKERS 92: In Atlanta, Devin Harris scored 17 points, Ivan Johnson hit a key basket and the shorthanded Hawks shook off a 20-point third quarter by Kobe Bryant, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Bryant finished with 31 points, but made just 11 of 33 shots. He drove the baseline with a chance to force overtime but watched his jumper slide off the rim with 3 seconds remaining. Making matters worse, he landed on Dahntay Jones foot and twisted his left ankle, crumpling to the court in pain.
The Lakers said Bryant is out indefinitely, just as the team is pushing for a playoff spot.
WIZARDS 106, BUCKS 93: In Washington, John Wall had 23 points and 10 assists as the Wizards beat Milwaukee.
It was Walls seventh double-double of the season. He also added six rebounds and four steals. Monta Ellis scored 26 points for the Bucks (32-31).
CELTICS 112, RAPTORS 88: In Boston, Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBAs career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points as the Celtics beat Toronto. Garnett needed four points to pass West (25,192 points) and Pierce entered the game nine points shy of tying Charles Barkley (23,757) for 20th.
ROCKETS 111, SUNS 81: In Houston, Donatas Motiejunas scored a career-high 19 points to lead five Houston starters in double figures as the Rockets routed Phoenix. James Harden scored 18 and Omer Asik had 14 for the Rockets, who stayed in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference standings.
THUNDER 110, JAZZ 87: In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 23 points, Russell Westbrook added 19 as the Thunder cruised past Utah. Kevin Martin had 15 points for Oklahoma City, which improved to 25-8 at home. The Thunder led 29-19 after one quarter and 50-28 at halftime.
Gordon Hayward scored 20 points to lead Utah.