The Miami Heat will attempt to keep their 23-game winning streak intake by adding their 24th victory Wednesday night when they take on the hosting Cleveland Cavaliers at 7 p.m. ET.
The Heat almost saw their streak end in Boston on Monday night, save for LeBron James' game-winning jumper in the final seconds after Miami rallied from 17- and 13-point deficits to squeak past the Celtics 105-103.
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But given how they wrapped up their latest "W" and what lies ahead, it may no longer be farfetched to think that the record of 33 straight victories set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers is within the Heat's grasp.
"It means a lot," James said after the Boston game. "I know the history of the game. To be sitting in second place right now ... for us to be there and doing it in the way we want to do it, it means a lot."
It also means a lot that Miami (52-14) won't be visiting many playoff-bound teams any time soon. Five of their next six games are against teams with the worst records this season, starting with Cleveland (22-45).
While it will surely be emotional -- after all, James is coming home, again -- Miami would have to simply lay an egg to lose on Wednesday. The Cavs are incredibly banged up and out of the playoff race. Kyrie Irving is out, Anderson Varejao's season is over and on Tuesday, Cleveland revealed that guard Dion Waiters may need surgery to repair a problem in his left knee.
Yes, the Cavaliers nearly knocked off the Heat in Miami on Feb. 24, but Waiters and Irving combined for 43 points in that upset bid. They'll combine for zero on Wednesday for Cleveland, which has lost three straight and seven of nine.
Miami won last month's matchup 109-105 and also came away with a 110-108 victory in the first meeting of the season Nov. 24. The Heat are 8-1 against the Cavaliers since James bolted for South Beach following the 2009-10 season, with the reigning league MVP averaging 26.4 points, 6.9 assists, 6.2 rebounds and shooting 51.2 percent -- similar numbers to what he's put up this season.
"I think you can give the (MVP) trophy to him right now," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "He's the best player in the league right now, and he's playing like it."