Miami Heat Extend Winning Streak to 26 Games with Win vs. Bobcats

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 24, 2013

The Miami Heat were without Dwyane Wade, but had no trouble extending their historic winning streak to 26 games on Sunday night with a 109-77 home win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Surprise, surprise. 

LeBron James paced the way with a classic performance: 32 points (11-of-14 shooting), eight rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and three blocks. 

Miami now heads out for a four-game road trip. It will take on the Magic on Monday before going to Chicago, New Orleans and then San Antonio for a marquee matchup. 

Despite the final score, this one wasn't always a certainty. 

The Heat, as they have gotten into a slight habit of doing during this streak, were slow out of the gate. Paced by Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Byron Mullens, the Bobcats jumped out to a 19-8 lead and looked confident from the start.

That quickly changed, though, as Miami went on an immediate 15-0 run to end the first quarter with a 23-19 advantage. 

Again, though, the Bobcats kept things closer than they probably should have, trailing by just eight at halftime and six at one point in the third quarter. 

But as the pace of the game quickened and Miami was able to get buckets in transition, the lead grew and things continued to spiral out of control for Charlotte. 

The Heat led by 16 at the end of the third quarter, by 22 two minutes into the fourth quarter and by 26 just two minutes later. Their bench was cleared midway through the final period, and Juwan Howard made his 2012-13 debut. 

Chris Bosh chipped in 15 points and six rebounds for the 55-14 Heat, while Ray Allen added 14 off the bench and four other players—including Chris Andersen, who had an energy-filled performance off the bench—scored at least five points. 

Kemba Walker poured in 20 points, while Gerald Henderson pitched in 18 points and Bismack Biyombo and Kidd-Gilchrist both had double-digit rebounds in the loss for the Bobcats.