The Miami Heat continued chasing history as they beat the Philadelphia 76ers 98-94 to win their 20th consecutive game.
The victory over the 76ers kicked off a five-game road trip for Miami, and the defending champs will be likely be tested during their time away from home as they were in Philadelphia.
Miami held a 12-point lead at halftime after closing out the second quarter on a 15-4 run. At that point, it looked like No. 20 was in the bag.
However, the Sixers had no intention of lying down in front of a supportive home crowd, and impressive performances from Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday allowed the team to push the Heat to the brink of defeat.
Holiday put up 21 points and seven assists while Young recorded 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
It was an admirable effort from the young Philadelphia stars, but the Heat’s experience and resiliency came through in the end.
In the final possessions, the Heat clamped down on defense. Turnovers and missed opportunities hurt Philadelphia badly in the last two minutes.
This certainly was not a pretty victory, but Miami showed its ability to grind out tough wins, even when the team struggles.
James was unable to find a shooting rhythm in the second half, but double-digit scoring nights from Ray Allen, Chris Andersen and Chris Bosh helped make up for his cold streak.
With four more road games, Miami will need to show the same grit and toughness if it hopes to return home with its winning streak still intact.