Unstoppable Heat notch 23rd straight win

U.S. Sports Desk, Mar 19 (EFE).- Star forward LeBron James had another stellar night to lead the Miami Heat to a 105-103 road victory over the Boston Celtics, the team's 23rd straight win.

The win streak is now the second longest in NBA history, although the Heat still have their work cut out to equal the 33 victories in a row put together by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1971-72 season.

James scored 37 points, dished out 12 assists and grabbed seven rebounds Monday night at TD Bank Garden. He also scored the winning bucket with 10.5 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Celtics led by six at halftime but the Heat clamped down on defense over the final two quarters to defeat a shorthanded Boston team, which was without injured power forward Kevin Garnett.

The Heat's victory spoiled a spectacular night by Celtics forward Jeff Green, who had a career-high 43 points and also grabbed seven boards.

Mario Chalmers was Miami's second-leading scorer, complementing James' effort by recording 21 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, while Paul Pierce had a strong all-around night for the Celtics with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

With the win, the Heat improved to 52-14, while the Celtics fell to 36-30.

Although the streak has undeniable historic significance, its main importance is that it has given the Heat the best record in the NBA. If that doesn't change between now and mid-April, Miami will ensure themselves of home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

In other NBA action Monday night, the Philadelphia 76ers edged the Portland Trail Blazers 101-100, the Charlotte Bobcats topped the Washington Wizards 119-114, the Indiana Pacers defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-90, and the Dallas Mavericks outgunned the Atlanta Hawks 127-113.

The Brooklyn Nets routed the Detroit Pistons 119-82, the Denver Nuggets squeaked past the Chicago Bulls 119-118 in overtime to run their winning streak to 12 games, the Memphis Grizzlies cruised past the Minnesota Timberwolves 92-77, the Golden State Warriors trounced the New Orleans Hornets 93-72, the Phoenix Suns pummeled the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers 99-76, and the New York Knicks topped the Utah Jazz 90-83.