Miami Heat tied a franchise record of 14 consecutive wins, by beating the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden last night. Tonight, the NBA champions will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves, and look to not only extend the winning streak, but to make history.
The Heat have struggled against the Knicks this regular season, having faced two 20-point defeats until last night. As the Knicks finished the first half of the game with a 14-point lead, it seemed that New York would end Miami’s recent hot streak. But, Miami came out with a sense of purpose in the second half, conceding just 34 points in the final two quarters.
LeBron James is already putting up historic numbers this season, but you can bet that Miami wants to make history as a team. To reach the franchise record, the team will have to get past the ailing Wolves in Minnesota, who have lost five straight games, good for the second-longest standing losing streak in the league right now.
The two teams have only met once this season, a game which Miami won despite being outrebounded by a ridiculous margin of 53-24. You can expect the battle on the boards to be closer – Nikola Pekovic is considered day-to-day, while Kevin Love, who had 18 rebounds in the last meeting, is also out. To make matters worse, Andrei Kirilenko has missed the Wolves’ last two games.
The two teams squaring off tonight could not be further apart when it comes to health and recent form. Miami has overcome very tough competition to pile up 14 straight victories and the stage is set for the team to make history tonight.
Vytis covers the Miami Heat and NBA for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter here: @VytisLasaitis