Heat take win streak to south Philly

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The Miami Heat will try to match the third-longest winning streak in NBA history when they go for 20 consecutive wins on Wednesday night in Philadelphia against the 76ers.

Miami made it 19 straight with a home victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, 98-81.

A win in Philadelphia on Wednesday would make the Heat the fifth team in NBA history to notch a winning streak as long as 20 games. The 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Capitols both won 20 in a row as the Washington franchise spanned the 1947-48 and 1948-49 seasons when they turned the trick.

The 2007-08 Houston Rockets took 22 in a row and the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers own the NBA record with 33 consecutive victories.

"We don't talk about it (the streak)," said LeBron James. "We're not sitting here saying this is not something special. This is an unbelievable streak. At the same time, we don't want to get caught up in it too much."

Against the Hawks, Dwyane Wade, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, led the way with 23 points. James only managed 15 points, but had seven rebounds and seven assists.

Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen all scored in double figures.

Defense has been a key for the Heat during the streak. They haven't allowed a 100-point game in their last seven and only five during this streak.

Two victories during this run came against the Sixers, including one in Philadelphia on Feb. 23. James had a triple-double in that one, then the Heat bested the Sixers on Friday in South Beach.

The Sixers snapped a five-game losing streak on Monday with a 106-97 victory at home over the Brooklyn Nets.

"That was a terrific win in a back-to-back after being on a three-game road trip," said Sixers coach Doug Collins. "I thought our defense was excellent. I thought we had so many guys play well."

Six Philly players scored in double figures against the Nets, led by 24 from Spencer Hawes, who added 10 rebounds while shooting 10-for-15 from the floor. Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young both had 16 and Jrue Holiday, Damien Wilkins and Dorell Wright all cracked the 10-point mark. Young also grabbed 10 boards and Holiday handed out 11 assists.

The Sixers had 31 assists on 40 made field-goals and only committed seven turnovers. They shot 53 percent from the floor and from the 3-point line and held the Nets under 50 percent shooting.

The Sixers went 0-3 on the recent road trip and Philly is still 2-12 in its last 14. One of those losses was a hard-fought setback in Miami on Friday. The Heat won 102-93, but it was a ball game well into the fourth quarter.

That win on Friday allowed the Heat to be the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season in the NBA.

The Heat have won 13 straight regular-season games against the Sixers and six straight in Philadelphia.