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Originally published Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM

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Miami Heat reaches 20 consecutive victories | NBA

LeBron James missed once, then again, whiffing on two easy looks at the rim that could have left Miami shaken. Like a good teammate, Dwyane...

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PHILADELPHIA — LeBron James missed once, then again, whiffing on two easy looks at the rim that could have left Miami shaken.

Like a good teammate, Dwyane Wade swooped in for the saving tip, preserving the lead and keeping the Heat's amazing winning streak rolling.

James scored 27 points and the Heat became the fourth team to win at least 20 consecutive games in a season, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 98-94 on Wednesday night.

Against a struggling Sixers team that was revved up like a playoff game, the Heat just found a way to win.

And when it was done, Miami took the time to admire its mark.

"Twenty is special," Wade said. "Win 20 games in a row, it's awesome. You can't get around it. We're going to try to go for the next one."

Wade scored 21 as the Heat needed big baskets over the final two minutes to top the Sixers for the milestone win. He stuck with the ball on James' misses and scored the clutch tip that made it a three-point lead with 29 seconds left and squashed the Sixers' upset bid.

"It shows you he, like many of our guys, are just willing to make winning plays at the end," coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Bryant sprains

left ankle

ATLANTA — Los Angeles star Kobe Bryant severely sprained his left ankle after missing a tying shot in the closing seconds of a 96-92 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

The Lakers said he's out indefinitely, just as the team is pushing for a playoff spot after a miserable start.

The injury occurred after Bryant put up the baseline jumper with three seconds remaining. His left foot landed on defender Dahntay Jones' right foot, twisting awkwardly as Bryant crumpled to the court.


Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA's career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points to lead host Boston to a 112-88 victory over Toronto.

Carmelo Anthony's return to the Pepsi Center — his first game since demanding a trade to New York more than two years ago — was a flop when Wilson Chandler scored 24 points and Denver blew out the ailing Knicks 117-94.

• Toronto forward Andrea Bargnani is expected to miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury.

What's your 20?
The Miami Heat moved into an exclusive club with its 20th consecutive victory.
Team Streak Year
L.A. Lakers 33 1971-72
Houston 22 2007-08
Milwaukee 20 1970-71