When you have decided to adopt a DJ Khaled song as a practical philosophy, even winning can get a little ho-hum. It's not enough just to keep beating whatever opponent the schedule-maker puts in front of you for six straight weeks (and counting) — you've also got to do so in a way that keeps things spicy, just to avoid blunting your competitive edge and getting bored enough with perfection to slide back to mere excellence.
Norris Cole throws pinpoint 65-foot dimes just to feel something, y'all.
After allowing the Toronto Raptors to make a game of it thanks to Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan combining to outscore them 24-21 in the third quarter, the Miami Heat woke up after the Cole-to-Wade lob, which gave Miami a four-point lead and lit the candle on a 28-4 run that stretched for 7 1/2 minutes and extinguished any chance of the Heat being cooled down during their trip north of the border. Miami held on for a 108-91 win that extended their winning streak to 22 consecutive games, tying the 2007-08 Houston Rockets for the second-longest stretch of victories in NBA history behind the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who famously won 33 in a row.
Wade finished with 24 points on 10 for 15 shooting and dished nine assists against just two turnovers in the win, and while the bulk of the attention went to MVP favorite LeBron James earlier in the season (somewhat understandably so, given how insane he was in February), it's worth remembering just how good his All-NBA running buddy has been over the past six weeks, too.
During the streak, Wade is averaging 23.9 points per game on 54.9 percent shooting while adding just under six assists, six rebounds, 2 1/2 steals and one block per game — he's showcased a sensational, and sensationally efficient, all-around game that's given coach Erik Spoelstra whatever's needed on any given night ... save for 3-point shooting (just one make in 14 tries), but with Shane Battier (53.3 percent from 3 during the streak), Mario Chalmers (41.1 percent), Ray Allen (38.5 percent) and James (37.2 percent) all looking sharp from long-range, that's hardly an issue for Miami these days.
What could be an issue for the streaking Heat, though: The Boston Celtics, whom they'll face on Monday night. Doc Rivers' club has won seven of 10 heading into the home game against their rivals from South Beach, and they've won 11 straight at home at the TD Garden, a streak that began on Jan. 27, when Boston beat the Heat in double overtime after learning that they'd lost point guard Rajon Rondo for the season to an ACL tear.
Add in the facts that the Heat are 0-5 in Boston since James and Chris Bosh joined the Heat for the 2010-11 season, that the Celtics' veterans aren't particularly impressed with Miami's streak and that Monday marks five years to the day since Boston snapped Houston's 22-game winning streak, and it seems like there's plenty of reasons to get excited for Monday's contest — we probably won't need any long-range oops to manufacture adrenaline.
(Wouldn't mind if we saw a few anyway, though.)
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