Heat need rare win streak to keep NBA title hopes alive

A victory in today’s Game Five of the best-of-seven series would give the Heat their first winning streak since May 22. A loss would put them in an uncomfortable position of having to win two straight at home to repeat as champions.

“If we don’t do two, we won’t win a championship. I wasn’t that smart in school, but I do know that. The numbers don’t add up,” Miami guard Dwyane Wade told a news conference yesterday.

“We have to find a way to put a string together. And hopefully our mentality and our play in Game Four can take over to the next game.”

After barreling through the regular season with a franchise-record 66 wins, including a 27-game win streak, followed by an 8-1 record over the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Heat have alternated wins and losses over their last 11 games.

Miami beat the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday to even the best-of-seven NBA Finals at 2-2 and face the task today of trying to disrupt a pattern that seemed unthinkable for much of the season.

“We’re well overdue when it’s time for us to win consecutive games,” LeBron James, who is coming off his best game of the Finals, told reporters.

“Enough is enough for our team. I’m not saying it’s going to result in us having a win, but we need to play with the same sense of urgency as if we were down 2-1 or whatever the case may be tomorrow night. And we can’t wait around.”

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said the his team’s inability to get back on a winning streak has plenty to do with the level of competition at this late stage of a season.

Miami needed all seven games to eliminate a plucky Indiana Pacers team in the Eastern Conference finals and now clearly have their hands full against a Spurs team seeking their fifth NBA title in 15 seasons.

“When you get to this level, it’s tough to win two games in a row against an equal opponent,” said Spoelstra.

“We want to make sure that we’re continuing to get better, and hopefully tomorrow we can have our best game of the series. That’s what our focus is for the next 24 hours. It’s not about anything else.”

The Heat have faced plenty of obstacles since James and Chris Bosh joined fellow All-Star Wade in Miami three years ago to form the Big Three.

Miami responded with three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and Wade, fresh off his best performance of the playoffs in Miami’s 109-93 win on Thursday, was not showing any signs of panic.

“This team we’ve always responded to a challenge, and right now this is our challenge,” said Wade.

“Our challenge now as a team is to see if we can put complete games together, back-to-back. So that’s got to be our challenge that we have to look forward to.”


James leads Cavs to sweep of Pacers

(The Sports Xchange) – LeBron James scored 33 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:08 remaining, and Cleveland completed a four-game sweep of Indiana in their NBA playoff opening-round series.

Bahamas crowned basketball champs, Guyana take out Barbados

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, CMC – The Bahamas crowned themselves Caribbean champions when they turned back a resilient Cuba in the final of the regional Basketball Championship here Saturday night.

Road to Mecca begins with wins for Linden, G/town clubs

The ‘Road to Mecca’ began Saturday night at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with wins for Colts, Retrieve Raiders, Ravens and Kings as the new executive of the Guyana Amateur Basketball federation staged its first tournament a countrywide inter-club affair.

NBA round-up

Masked James leads Heat past Orlando (The Sports Xchange) – Indiana forward Paul George scored 10 points over the final four minutes, 20 seconds as the Pacers, the team with the best record in the NBA, beat the Boston Celtics 102-97.

Pacers, Grizzlies win

(Sports Direct) – Roy Hibbert collected a post-season career-high 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as host Indiana Pacers won a defensive battle over the New York Knicks to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal with a 82-71 points win on Saturday.

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