MIAMI -- The common theme is the victories, now 17 in a row for the Miami Heat.
The secondary theme is how Erik Spoelstra's team refuses to make the easiest matchups anything but easy.
Friday night, the Heat entered on a 12-game home winning streak, with the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on an 11-game road losing streak.
Instead, the Heat found themselves trailing for most of the night before pushing through for a 102-93 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena.
In extending their franchise-record winning streak, the Heat tied for the 12th longest streak in NBA history.
But as with recent home victories against similar lottery-bound opponents such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic, there was little opportunity to exhale.
Instead the 76ers raced to an early nine-point lead, lead by four at halftime and then pushed to another nine-point lead in the third quarter.
That's when LeBron James said enough, the Heat forward closing with 25 points and 10 rebounds, supported by 22 points from Dwyane Wade and subtle contributions from teammates Chris Bosh, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen, who recorded his second dunk as a member of the team in the second quarter.
The 17-game winning streak ties the longest in the NBA this season, a 17-game run by the Los Angeles Clippers that ended Jan. 1.
Getting to 18 in a row could prove far more challenging than these recent home escapes, with the Indiana Pacers visiting AmericanAirlines Arena on Sunday night, carrying a 2-0 record against the Heat in the three-game season series.
The Heat were coming off Wednesday's 97-96 victory over the Magic, with this the second game of a four-game homestand.
The 76ers' 12-game road losing streak is their longest in 15 years.
The Heat won the first game of the four-game season series 114-90 victory in Philadelphia two weeks ago, with the teams to also meet Wednesday in Philadelphia.
The Heat fell behind by nine early in the third quarter, just as they had in the first quarter, even with 76ers All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday missing his first five shots.
But with a primal-scream layup and ensuing free throw, Bosh gave the Heat a 65-64 lead with 4:28 to play in the third period, their first lead since 33-32 in the second quarter.
But that's when former Heat forward Dorell Wright came back with consecutive 3-pointers to put the 76ers up 75-73 before James ended the third quarter with a 3-pointer that put the Heat up 76-75 going into the fourth.
The Heat are now 22-0 at home this season when taking a lead into the fourth.
After closing their early nine-point deficit, the Heat found themselves again playing from behind when the 76ers went on a 13-2 run early in the second quarter.
Through it all, the Heat were able to close within 51-47 at halftime, paced by 14 points from James over the first two periods.
The 76ers were beating the Heat over the top early, opening 7 of 9 on 3-pointers.
After yet another sluggish start, this time falling behind 20-11, the Heat ended the first quarter up 28-24, with Allen closing the scoring in the period with a 3-pointer.
It was an uneven start for the Heat, with Bosh opening 1 of 5 from the field. But in that first quarter, James recorded the 1,000th 3-pointer of his career, while Wade extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one steal to 21, matching the longest such streak of his career.
Spoelstra had to go to the bench early, when Chalmers again was called for two early fouls, forced to the bench at the 6:30 mark of the opening period. Spoelstra also injected Rashard Lewis into the rotation in the second quarter.
The highlight of the opening period was a Wade block of a 3-point attempt of Wright, which Wade whacked into the stands from behind.
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