Heat ride 17-game streak into matchup with Pacers
MIAMI (AP) — With yet another win in the books, the Miami Heat turned their attention to the streak.
And, no, not that 17-game winning one.
LeBron James scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 22 points and the Heat pulled away late to beat Philadelphia 102-93 on Friday night — their 12th straight regular-season win over Philadelphia, their 13th in a row at home and most importantly, their 17th straight victory overall.
Up next for Miami: Indiana comes in for a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday, and the Pacers are 2-0 against the Heat this season, both of those wins coming at Indianapolis.
And that two-game slide is what the Heat were talking about after beating Philly, not that 17-game roll the reigning NBA champions are currently enjoying.
"Every team that has beaten us, especially since the break, we've tried to redeem ourselves and play a lot better," Wade said. "Obviously the first game, they smacked us pretty good. Second time, we had a chance, but they did more than us to win the game. So now it's our turn, being at home, to come out and take care of business."
Indiana won 87-77 on Jan. 8 and 102-89 on Feb. 1.
The Heat haven't lost since that second meeting.
Chris Bosh scored 16 points, Ray Allen added 12 and Shane Battier scored 11 for the Heat on Friday, when Miami matched the 12th-longest winning streak in NBA history.
"We got better tonight," James said. "And that's the most important thing."
James went to the bench with 8:02 left and with the Heat only leading by eight. Philadelphia never got any closer than that from there, and James wound up logging his 11th-shortest night of the season in terms of minutes, playing just over 34.
"Good team win, particularly in the second half," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Our bench was really dialed in."
Thaddeus Young scored 25 points, Dorell Wright added 14 and Spencer Hawes finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers, who lost their 12th straight on the road. Jrue Holiday added a game-high 13 assists for Philadelphia.
The 76ers got outscored 48-31 in the final 19 minutes.
"I've very proud of them," Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said. "Our guys fought tonight. They did a tremendous job and it's just that Miami is a great, great team and that's what happens with great teams. They ratchet it up on you and squeeze you for about five or six minutes and then they take the game. That's what championships have always done so I couldn't ask any more of our guys. I thought they did everything they could do."
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