Starting 5


Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: Blackjack

Jeffrey Phelps/AP/Artesia NewsIf the Bucks end up making the Playoffs as the eighth seed, the Heat will be their opponent. By the time they actually face each other who knows if the Heat will have actually lost the game. At this point, no one can see Miami faltering at all.

The win streak is up to 21 and Miami is one away from tying the second longest win streak in the league's history.

Miami's main goal might be winning a championship — something that is looking more and more likely with each dominant win and apparent lack of weakness — but this is a streak of historic proportions. Miami is really really good.

That again was proven in 107-94 win over Milwaukee at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. LeBron James scored 28 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out seven assists. Chris Bosh joined him with 28 points as well. And Dwyane Wade posted 20 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.

Miami really only needed the Big Three to dispatch of Milwaukee. The three were the only players for Miami to score in double figures. The Heat simply cruised to victory.

So as Miami's win streak continues, it seems like the challenges are going by the wayside. And this team is not getting bored (much). They are gearing up. The Playoffs are on the horizon and this team is peaking right now . . . the rest of the NBA gently hopes.

2: 11 is the charm

David Zalubowski/AP/Yahoo!Meanwhile out West, the Nuggets have put together an impressive win streak of their own.

Denver outscored Memphis 29-14 in the fourth quarter for a big, grind-it-out come-from-behind 87-80 victory. Memphis is the kind of team that is supposed to win these games while the high-flying Nuggets are the team that would struggle in these kind of games.

The Nuggets though won this slowed down game and pulled even closer to the third seed in the Western Conference, quite unbelievably.

Despite how well Denver is playing, it seems like the nation sees them as a cute, gimmicky team. I guess fans want to see a team with superstars rather than the balanced effort and an exciting team that always has the will to run. More importantly for Denver, the Nuggets are incredibly tough to beat at the Pepsi Center. And this game proved that too.

Kosta Koufos, of all people, stepped up in this game with 18 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Nuggets. Right now Denver just has a great formula and it may not really matter who the team faces at home. They just run their opponents out of the gym.

The Nuggets beat the Grizzlies at the Grizzlies game. That might be the most important thing.


Barnes flies


Webster "unveils the Wizard"

4: Line of the Night: James Harden — 37 points, 8 assists, 8/16 FGs, 16/18 FTs

It has been an amazing run for James Harden this season. He has fulfilled all the expectations everyone had for him if he could get more playing time. He has done that and has put in some incredible performances. In a 108-100 win over the Timberwolves, Harden got to the line and put in an incredibly efficient performance to push the Rockets to a big win.

5:  You can quote me on that

Our focus was inconsistent throughout the game. We pride ourselves on being more focused throughout the game and every possession but that wasn't the case tonight. It's something that we have to get better with … We missed layups. We missed free throws. Our focus wasn't there throughout the game.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks on the Thunder losing a 27-point lead in a 117-103 win over the Magic

We’re a much better team now, which we should be.

Heat forward LeBron James

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily