x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

NBA: Miami Heat will have to leapfrog great 1971 Los Angeles Lakers team for record

remembers a record-setting Los Angeles Lakers squad from 41 years ago and how the Miami Heat are surging toward that consecutive wins milestone.

The Miami Heat are surging toward a consecutive wins record that the 1971 Los Angeles Lakers have held for the last four decades. Aaron Josefczyk / Reuters
The Miami Heat are surging toward a consecutive wins record that the 1971 Los Angeles Lakers have held for the last four decades. Aaron Josefczyk / Reuters

It seems inevitable now, which is pure sadness.

The Miami Heat roll on, destroying every team in their path. Most games are easy victories, but if they momentarily lose interest – like when trailing the Cavaliers in Cleveland by 27 points in the third quarter on Wednesday – they simply flip a switch.

Which is what great teams can do, and there is little doubt now to the Heat's greatness. Their 26-game winning streak is the second longest in NBA history and they are closing in on the league record of 33, achieved by the 1971/72 Los Angeles Lakers.

And it is difficult to embrace that.

This is about those Lakers, not these Heat. The LA team of 41 seasons back was one of the greatest assembled and was led by the legends Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain. They won the first championship for LA, now arguably the capital of the league.

They were a special team, but their greatness is fading into memory as their records are picked off, one by one. Those Lakers won 69 games, but Chicago Bulls eclipsed that with 72 in 1995/96.

Life was harder for teams in the 1970s. Teams did not fly charters and often travelled on the morning of a game. It was not unusual to play three games in three days. The Lakers battled through that to win 33 without interruption.

The only real threat to stopping the Heat is their game in San Antonio on Sunday. But the Heat seem focused now, and it is too bad for an all-time great team.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE