Wade sits, but Heat win 26th straight
Miami, FL – The Miami Heat took another step closer to making history on Sunday, picking up their 26th consecutive win with a 109-77 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats at American Airlines Arena.
LeBron James knocked down 11-of-14 shots from the field en route to a game- high 32 points. The reigning league MVP also had 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Norris Cole and Chris Bosh each added 15 points, and Ray Allen finished with 14 for the Heat, who were without All-Star guard Dwyane Wade because of a sore right knee.
The result puts the Heat within seven wins of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers' all-time record for consecutive victories. The Heat play at Orlando Monday night.
"I think it is on everyone else's radar now with just where we are being in second place all time in most consecutive wins," James said. "For us, we want to just continue to play our game and continue to play the opponents on our schedule."
Kemba Walker scored a team-best 20 points and Gerald Henderson chipped in 18 for the Bobcats, who have dropped 14 of their last 17 games overall.
Miami trailed 19-8 with 5:22 left in the first, but closed the frame on a 15-0 run, which was highlighted by Cole's half-court lob for James. Cole grabbed a rebound and took two dribbles before lobbing it up to James, who was streaking down the right sideline, for an emphatic slam.
Shane Battier's 3-pointer capped the quarter. The Bobcats tied it early in the second, but the Heat went ahead for good with a 10-0 push for a 33-23 edge. Allen hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored the final eight during the push. The Heat led by as many as 14 in the second before taking a 47-39 lead into the break.
"We didn't allow them to run. We didn't turn the ball over a lot and we made shots," Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap said. "Then we dried up and our defense had to hold the line for a long time before we scored in the second quarter."
The Bobcats cut the deficit to 54-49 with 8:19 to go in the third, but were outscored 19-8 the rest of the quarter.
Miami opened the fourth on a 12-2 surge and cruised the rest of the way.
Wade is considered day-to-day ... James was 10-for-11 from the free throw line ... Miami shot 50 percent (38-for-76) from the field ... Michael Kidd- Gilchrist turned in a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte.