December 14, 2015

MIAMI (AP) The streak is over, and the Miami Heat know exactly what the Golden State Warriors are going through right now.

There's the initial disappointment and frustration, followed by some reflection and probably appreciation of what the streak was - a 27-game stretch of consecutive wins for the Heat in 2012-13, and a 24-game run for the Warriors to start this season which would be a 28-game run when factoring in the final four games of the 2014-15 regular season.

But before long, the Heat know the Warriors - whose winning streak ended in Milwaukee on Saturday night - will feel some relief.

''It's a huge relief,'' Heat forward Chris Bosh said. ''I'm on the outside looking in and I'm watching Monday Night Football and they're talking about `the streak.' I'm like, golly. The St. Louis Barons, what was it? That was in like 1818. Nobody knew that. The comparisons, the circus following you ... man, they're sitting in a very good spot.''

What Bosh meant was the St. Louis Maroons, a baseball team that started 20-0 in 1884 for what was the best start to a season in the four major U.S. pro sports until now.

Still, his point was clear - what Golden State did, just like what Miami did, was historic.

''They're 24-1,'' Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. ''Crazy. ... What they did was incredible, especially coming off a championship.''

The NBA is recognizing Golden State's streak as 28 and therefore the second-longest in league history behind the 33 straight wins posted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1971-72.

Not surprisingly, that's the source of some debate in Heat circles since the Warriors' run was over two seasons and Miami's 27-0 stretch was not. But Bosh tipped his cap anyway.

''I'm not going to fight over a silver medal, man,'' Bosh said. ''We wanted 33. They wanted 33. They fell short. We fell short. It's still amazing, no matter what.''

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COMING BACK

The Eastern Conference champions are probably going to get a whole lot better in the next few days.

Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving is nearing a return, which would come about six months after he had to leave the NBA Finals because of a fractured left kneecap. The Cavs lead the East so far this season even without Irving, and have won 44 of their last 52 games with him in the lineup when including last season's playoff run.

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THE WEEK AHEAD

Here's a look at some games to watch this week:

- Utah at San Antonio, Monday: Spurs put a 21-game home regular-season winning streak (12-0 this season) on the line. Utah hasn't won there since 2010.

- Cleveland at Boston, Tuesday: Kelly Olynyk's first time facing Kevin Love since their tangle left Cleveland's forward knocked out of the 2015 playoffs.

- Minnesota at New York, Wednesday: Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis - rookie of the year favorites? - meet on the floor for the first time.

- Milwaukee at Golden State, Friday: Motivation wouldn't figure to be in short supply for the Warriors, who'll see the streak-snapping Bucks once again.

- L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, Friday: They haven't played since Game 7 of last year's first round, when Chris Paul's last-second shot ousted the Spurs.

- Portland at Miami, Sunday: Breakfast with the Blazers? That's what it may feel like for Portland fans, with this a 10 a.m. start in the Pacific time zone.

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STAT LINE OF THE WEEK

- Draymond Green, Golden State: In a week where his Warriors teammates Klay Thompson (10 3's vs. Indiana) and Stephen Curry (38 points vs. Boston) had more big nights to add to their burgeoning collections, Green had a stat sheet for the ages. Against the Celtics on Friday, Green scored 24 points, adding 11 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocks. The last to have a game like that: Hakeem Olajuwon (29-18-9-5-11) in 1990.

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