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Published: Monday, 3/18/2013

Heat win streak reaches 22 games

Miami ties for 2nd-longest record in league history

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Miami's LeBron James drives past the Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas during the first half of Sunday's game in Toronto. His 22 points and 12 rebounds helped the Heat to their 22nd straight victory. Miami's LeBron James drives past the Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas during the first half of Sunday's game in Toronto. His 22 points and 12 rebounds helped the Heat to their 22nd straight victory.
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TORONTO — Back where their winning streak started on Super Bowl Sunday, the Miami Heat kept rolling right into March Madness.

Now it's on to Boston to face the rival Celtics — the team who ended the last streak this long.

The Heat equaled the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, pulling away in the fourth quarter Sunday to beat the Toronto Raptors 108-91 for their 22nd consecutive victory.

"It's a special ride right now that we're on," LeBron James said. "The best thing about it is we're doing it together."

James had 22 points and 12 rebounds for his career-best 32nd double-double of the season, Dwyane Wade had 24 points and nine assists, and Ray Allen scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the defending NBA champions.

Chris Bosh finished with 18 points as the Heat matched the 22 consecutive wins recorded by the 2007-08 Houston Rockets. The NBA's longest streak is 33 games, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

Miami will try to move into sole possession of second on Monday when it visits the Celtics — who ended the Rockets' run five years ago and have won 11 in a row at home.

"If there's any group that would be motivated in a circumstance like this, it's that team in green," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "I don't know if the streak will be a big factor but they love playing against us, and vice versa. That's what happens when you meet a team consecutively in the playoffs. There's a history there, and that's what makes these games special."

The Heat have faced the Celtics twice so far this season. They blew out Boston 120-107 in Miami on opening night, then lost 100-98 in double-overtime on the road on Jan. 27, the day Boston learned that Rajon Rondo needed knee surgery.

"They played better than us for a large part of that game," Spoelstra said.

Winners of two straight, the Celtics may be without veteran forward Kevin Garnett today. The 15-time All-Star sat out Saturday's victory over Charlotte with a strained left thigh and is day-to-day.

Miami blew it open Sunday behind Allen's 3-point shooting after Toronto tied it at 77 early in the fourth quarter.

"Those [3s] are what we feared for so many years [when Allen was with Boston]," Spoelstra said. "He can turn a game around just like that."

Toronto is the third team with multiple losses to the Heat during the streak. Miami has beaten Philadelphia three times and Atlanta twice.

"You talk about a well-oiled machine, those guys are efficient both offensively and defensively," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "They are well put together."

Rudy Gay scored 27 and Amir Johnson had 18 points and 18 rebounds as the Raptors lost their 11th straight against Miami, extending their longest active losing streak against a single opponent.



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