The Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets are the two hottest teams in the NBA.
The Heat has the second-longest winning streak in league history at 23 straight, while the Nuggets stretched their run to 13 straight with a 114-104 victory over the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Tuesday night.
Denver and Miami completed their two-game regular-season series way back in mid-November. The Heat won 119-116 in Miami on Nov. 3 and won 98-93 at Denver on Nov. 15th.
The only way the Heat and Nuggets can meet again this season would be in the NBA Finals.
“I hope we have another opportunity to play them,” Denver coach George Karl said. “That would be a dream come true.”
Of the 13 teams the Nuggets have disposed of consecutively, eight currently are bound for the playoffs.
“We're not beating up on the little guys,” Karl said. “I don't think our team is going to let up. I think they enjoy what's going on right now.”
Denver (47-22) trails OKC (50-18) by just 3 1/2 games for second in the Western Conference playoff race and owns the tiebreaker with its 3-1 series edge over the Thunder thanks to winning the last three meetings.
Eight of the Nuggets' 13 remaining games are at home and only five games are against playoff teams.
The Thunder has 14 games remaining, with eight on the road and seven against playoffs teams, beginning with Wednesday's 7 p.m. game at Memphis.
Thunder starting power forward Serge Ibaka, who suffered a badly swollen left eye against San Antonio last week, received a cut above his right eye Tuesday after getting hit by the left elbow of teammate Reggie Jackson. Ibaka's status for Wednesday game at Memphis was not immediately known.
OKC reserve center Hasheem Thabeet missed his third straight game with a sore lower back, but was hopeful to return Wednesday.