’72 Lakers Fear Miami Heat Could Break Their Record 33-Game Winning Streak

by March 14, 2013

The Miami Heat have now stretched their winning streak to 20 games. They’ve got a long way to go before they can even think about topping the all-time mark of 33. According to members of the 1971-’72 Los Angeles Lakers, though, the record is in danger. Per Fox Sports: “It is certainly a possibility that the Heat could break our 33-game winning streak,’ said Bill Sharman, the Hall of Fame coach of those legendary Lakers. ‘The record has held for 41 years, and all of us that participated in it are very proud to have been part of that season. However, (Heat president) Pat Riley has put together an amazing team, and I have to admit this one makes me a little nervous.’ Pat Riley was a reserve guard on those Lakers, winning his first of eight championship rings as a player, assistant coach, head coach and executive. Now, Riley, after putting together in 2010 the Heat’s tremendous trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, is putting some pressure on his old team. That includes a guy he once backed up. ‘I’d say this is the most serious challenge we’ve had to our streak,’ Hall of Fame guard Gail Goodrich, the leading scorer on the 1971-72 Lakers with a 25.9 average, said of the Heat. ‘I think they’ll make a very, very, very serious run at our record, They might even break it. They’re head and shoulders over the rest of the NBA. Who’s going to beat them? There’s not as much parity in the league now. … ‘Sure, I’d like to keep the record,’ Goodrich said. ‘But I’m not going to root against the Heat.’ The same goes for Sharman. A key reason is Riley, who was a hard-working and popular player who averaged 6.7 points in 1971-72. ‘If they break the record, I would be happy for Pat Riley,’ Sharman said. ‘But, naturally, part of me wants to hold onto that record a little bit longer.’ With a gritty 98-94 win Wednesday at Philadelphia, the Heat became just the fifth team in league history to have won 20 or more consecutive regular-season games.”