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Loss to Kings snaps streaks for Heat

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Three streaks came to an end for the Miami Heat in their 108-103 loss to the Kings at Sacramento Friday night.

-- Their overall winning streak ended at six.

-- Their string of wins over the Kings ended at 10.

-- And their winning streak over Western Conference foes, one short of the all-time record set 40 years ago by the Boston Celtics, ended at 19 games.

And it didn’t have to be.

Despite playing without guard Dwyane Wade (resting his knees presumably for Saturday night’s game at Portland), forward Chris Andersen (back spasms), and guard Ray Allen (knees), the Heat still were in a great position to win it.

The Heat were up by four points 89-85 with under three minutes left in regulation when things began to go wrong.

With 1:45 left, guard Mario Chalmers missed two free throws.

Then, with 1:19 on the game clock, Chalmers was whistled for a flagrant foul on Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins on an air ball by Kings’ guard Isaiah Thomas near the end of the shot clock.

Until Chalmers blatantly pushed Cousins to the floor (not an easy thing to do), the play seemed headed for either a shot-clock violation or a Heat rebound by forward Michael Beasley. Instead, Cousins hit two free throws, and then on the ensuing possession Kings forward Rudy Gay canned a 14-foot jumper to tie it.

But wait! There’s more!

When the Heat came back up the floor, Beasley made an errant pass that James couldn’t handle, and the Kings got the ball back.

They didn’t score, which gave the Heat another chance at the win in the closing seconds of regulation. For some reason, James inexplicably elected to try a fall-back 3-pointer after dribbling out the clock instead of driving for the basket and a layup or potential foul.

The shot fell woefully short, and the game went to overtime.

In his defense, James seemed to hurt his leg in the second half and after scoring 19 points in the first two quarters, he went into overtime with just 22. He ended the game with 33 after drilling three consecutive 3-pointers in overtime to no avail.

By the time James found the range, the Kings were already up by two possessions or more.

The loss came in the second of a four-game swing out west for the Heat, who started the trip with a win over the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Now 22-7, the Heat will move on to take on the 24-5 Trail Blazers before going to Denver to take on the Nuggets Monday night.


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