MINNEAPOLIS -- Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat have sat back and watched LeBron James make an imprint all over the franchise record book.
The past few years, especially this season, it's been James putting an asterisk next to his name in the team media guide. It got to the point where Wade earlier this year joked about him and the supporting cast being an afterthought.
Finally, there was a regular-season accomplishment the entire team could take credit for.
The Heat defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-81 Monday at Target Center, allowing them to accomplish a first in franchise history. It was their 15th straight win, breaking the organization's old mark of 14 that was set during the 2004-05 season.
That team, led by Shaquille O'Neal and Wade, had its season end in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons. The chances of that happening this year are looking slim. Not with the way the Heat are playing these days.
And they have opportunity for more.
The Heat open a four-game homestand against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena. If they can get by the Magic and Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, they would enter Sunday's game against the Indiana Pacers with a 17-game winning streak.
The Timberwolves were just next in line against a Heat team playing perhaps its best ball of the Big Three era. The streak includes wins against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, but it was this one that allowed it to separate from Heat teams of past.
Wade finished with a game-high 32 points, while James turned in yet another performance that could push him toward a fourth Most Valuable Player award in five years.
There was question if he would play because of knee pain stemming from Sunday's fall in the third quarter against the New York Knicks. Not only did he suit up, but James played like it was the start of a road trip instead of the second night of a back-to-back.
James had 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
The effort came a day after the Heat were in easy position for a letdown. They were coming off an emotional victory against the Knicks, where they overcame a 16-point, second-half deficit. It was understandable if Miami were to have problems going from a nationally televised game at Madison Square Garden to facing a Timberwolves team they hadn't lost to in three seasons.
The feeling of disinterest didn't last long.
After trailing by as many as 11 in the first half, the injury-depleted Timberwolves pulled to within 50-46 early in the third quarter. It was then when the Heat decided to hit another gear.
Miami responded with a 10-0 run, highlighted by a bounce pass from James to Wade that resulted in a dunk. The Heat led by as many as 14 but were unable to deliver the knockout blow. The Timberwolves, despite playing without injured All-Star Kevin Love, closed within 71-68 on Alexey Shved's 3-pointer with 10:14 left in the game.
"Obviously they've been dealing with as much adversity in terms of injury as any team in the league," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They really assembled an exciting group of young basketball players ... you have to bring it."
It just wasn't enough to keep pace with the Heat.
After two free throws by Norris Cole, Ray Allen hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to eight. Allen then was involved in a skirmish that resulted in an ejection for Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea, who was called for a Flagrant-2 foul. Minnesota coach Rick Adelman then drew a technical for arguing the call.
Allen made all three free throws, giving the Heat a 79-70 lead with 8:09 remaining. Consecutive baskets from Wade and James put the Heat ahead by double-digits.
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