x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

NBA: Miami Heat extend winning streak to 22 games with win over Toronto

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade inspired Miami to record their 22nd consecutive NBA victory, putting the side joint second in the record books for win streaks.

Miami Heat's LeBron James drives past Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas.
Miami Heat's LeBron James drives past Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas.

The Miami Heat stretched their winning streak to 22 matches as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade inspired them to a 108-91 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

James finished two assists short of a triple-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds and eight dishes, while Wade had 24 points and nine assists to help the Heat achieve the joint second-longest winning run in NBA history.

"It's a special team," said James.

"It's a special ride right now that we're rolling and the best thing is we're doing it together and we just want to keep it going.

"It's not about the streak. It's about us getting better every day."

The Heat built up a 16-point lead in the first half, but the Raptors chipped away and tied the game early in the fourth quarter before Miami pulled away down the stretch.

Toronto tied the game at 77-77 when Rudy Gay hit a pair of free throws at 11:08 in the final quarter, but the Heat responded with 12-straight points, including a highlight-reel dunk from Wade off a half-court lob from Norris Cole.

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

"They do it in a classy way. They are well put together. When you have special guys like (James) and Wade running your show, it makes it tough."

Miami are now tied with the 2007-08 Houston Rockets side in second place with 22 straight NBA wins. Only the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who won 33 in a row, remain ahead of them.

"They were making some tough shots and I think that took a bit out of our spirit and toughness defensively," said Erik Spoelstra, the Miami head coach.

"We dug in and decided to do it a little bit tougher, a little bit harder."

The Oklahoma City Thunder's All-Star duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were at it again, combining for 66 points in a 107-101 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Westbrook poured in 35 points while Durant added 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Thunder, second in the Western Conference, won their third straight.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 23 points.

Chris Paul had 20 points and eight assists as the Pacific-leading Los Angeles Clippers beat the New York Knicks 93-80.

Caron Butler scored 14 points while Blake Griffin added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Antawn Jamison scored 27 points as the Los Angeles Lakers made light of the absence of Kobe Bryant to beat the Sacramento Kings 113-102.

Bryant sat the game out with an ankle injury but thanks to reserve Jamison and Metta World peace, who scored 22, the Lakers did not miss him too much.

Monta Ellis poured in 39 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 115-109 win over the Orlando Magic.

Twenty-five of Ellis' points came in the fourth quarter.

Stephen Curry scored 29 points in the Golden State Warriors' 108-78 destruction of the Houston Rockets, while the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Hornets 97-95 and the Atlanta Hawks were 105-93 winners over the Brooklyn Nets.

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