Longest NBA Win Streak in History – Who Has the Most Wins in a Row?
Thanks to the fact that the regular season in the NBA is 82 games long, anything can happen on any given night.
Injuries, back-to-back NBA games, and shooting slumps are just some of the issues NBA teams encounter each season.
All of these factors have a big impact on the performance of the teams, preventing even the best teams in the league from achieving long win streaks.
This makes the 33-win streak that the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers had even more impressive, and it is one of the rare NBA records that will probably never be broken. With this said, here is a list of the most wins in a row by NBA teams.
10. San Antonio Spurs (2013-14) – 19 Wins
At number 10 on our list of most consecutive wins NBA teams are one of the most dominant NBA franchises in the last three decades, the San Antonio Spurs.
The 2013-2014 San Antonio Spurs had everything they need for this achievement including one of the best coaches in NBA history Gregg Popovich as well as a team that revolved around Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard.
The year prior, the Spurs lost in the NBA finals to the Miami Heat led by LeBron James, and after this, they looked like a team on a mission.
From February 26, 2014, to April 2, 2014, San Antonio recorded 19 straight wins, beating their opponents by an average of 21.9 points per game.
During this stretch, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Marco Belinelli, and Patty Mills all had double digits in points with Tony Parker leading the way with 16.7 points and 5.7 assists per game.
In the end, the Spurs ended the season with the best record in the NBA 62-20, and went on to beat Dallas, Portland, and Oklahoma in the playoffs before getting revenge against the Heat in the NBA Finals in five games.
9. Los Angeles Lakers (1999-00) – 19 Wins
When you have two NBA Hall of Famers, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, on your team, you are destined to break some records. The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t just do that, but they also established an NBA Dynasty along the way.
During the 1999-2000 season, the Lakers managed to piece together ten consecutive wins or more on three separate occasions.
Their longest streak lasted from February 4 to March 13, 2000, when they managed to collect 19 consecutive wins.
This win streak only solidified this Lakers team as one of the greatest NBA teams of all time, as well as O’Neal and Bryant as two of the best basketball players on the planet.
Like it is often the case with teams that have similar streaks, they ended the season with 67 wins and 15 losses and the best record in the league.
In the playoffs, the Lakers continued where they left off in the regular season, defeating the Kings, the Suns, and the Blazers before outlasting the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals in six games.
For one of the most dominant performances that the NBA has ever seen, Shaquille O’Neal was named the MVP of the regular season as well as the MVP of the Finals. He averaged 29.7 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.
8. Boston Celtics (2008-09) – 19 Wins
The Boston Celtics had one of the best offseasons in NBA history in 2007 when the team managed to acquire both Rey Allen and Kevin Garnett. These two superstars along with Paul Pierce created the first modern big three in the NBA.
In their first season together the Celtics would win a ring. However, their longest winning streak would come in the 2008-2009 season.
Fresh of the NBA title, Boston won 19 consecutive games from November 15 to December 25, when they lost at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers.
During the streak, Paul Pierce led the Celtics in scoring with 17.1 points per game but Garnett was also not far behind with 16.4 points per game.
Unfortunately for Boston, after entering the history books with 19 wins in a row, they dropped 7 of the next 9 games.
The Celtics ended the season with 62 wins and 20 losses which was the 3rd best overall record in the NBA after the Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But while their regular season was great, the team struggled in the playoffs, they managed to overcome the Chicago Bulls in what was one of the greatest NBA playoff series of all time, before falling to the Orlando Magic 3-4 in the 2nd round.
7. Atlanta Hawks (2014-15) – 19 Wins
The last team on our list that manages to collect 19 wins in a row in the NBA is the 2014-2015 Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks had a solid roster led by Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, and Al Horford, but despite it, they probably exceeded expectations.
On December 27, 2014, Atlanta would win the first of their 19 consecutive wins, a streak that lasted till January 15, 2015.
During this time, the team was led by Millsap who averaged 16.7 points, and Teague who had 7.0 assists per game.
With 60 wins and 22 losses, the Hawks ended the season with the best record in the Easter Conference and the second-best record in the NBA behind the Golden State Warriors.
They also had 4 players (Al Horford, Paul Milsap, Jeff Teague, and Kyle Korver) selected into the All-Star Team.
They would go on to defeat the Nets and the Wizards in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but the Cleveland Cavaliers proved to be too much as they swept the Hawks in the Easter Conference Finals.
But even with this loss, the Atlanta Hawks pulled off one of the best seasons in franchise history without even having a superstar player on their team.
6. Washington Capitols (1947-48, 1948-49) – 20 Wins (5+15)
For the sixth-longest win streak in NBA history, we have to go back all the way to 1947 when the Washington Capitols managed to put together 20 wins in a row at the end of the 1947-48 and the start of the 1948-49 season.
The Capitols’ win streak began in the 1947-48 season, winning the last five regular season games, and would continue through the first 15 games of the 1948-49 season.
During this time, the team was led by the Bob Feerick and Bones McKinney duo, before finally losing a game on December 7, 1948, against the St. Louis Bombers.
Under the legendary coach Red Auerbach, the Capitols continued strong in the playoffs and made it all the way to the BAA Finals where they lost to George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers.
5. Milwaukee Bucks (1970-71) – 20 Wins
Led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindrow), the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks were the first team in NBA history to achieve an unbeaten streak of 20 games. And the Bucks did it just three years after the team was founded.
During the offseason, the Bucks’ front office manage to sign Oscar Robertson who would with Abdul-Jabbar make one of the greatest duos the NBA has ever seen.
Led by the best NBA center and the best guard in the league, Milwaukee went on a 20-game winning streak.
The streak started on the 6th of February, 1971, during which they won their games with an average of 18.3 points.
The Bucks finished the season with the best record in the league, collecting 66 wins and suffering only 16 losses. Their success continued in the playoffs, where they lost only two games on the path to an NBA Championship.
Abdul-Jabbar averaged 31.7 points, 16.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 82 games in 1970-71 and was named both the regular season MVP and the Finals MVP.
4. Houston Rockets (2007-08) – 22 Wins
The fourth-longest win streak in NBA history belongs to the 2007-08 Houston Rockets. Led by All-Stars and one of the tallest NBA players ever, Yao Ming, and Tracy McGrady and the defensive specialist Shane Battier, the Rockets managed to write their names in NBA history with 22 consecutive wins.
Houston started their winning streak with a win over the Golden State Warriors on January 29, 2008, and kept it alive until March 18, when they lost to the Boston Celtics.
This achievement holds even more value if we consider that the Rockets lost Yao Ming 12 games into the streak, and still managed to win ten more games in a row without one of their star players.
However, despite recording the fourth-longest win streak in NBA history, the Rockets only finished fifth in the stacked Western Conference.
Crippled by injuries, Houston did not manage to make a miracle in the playoffs, as they fell to Utah Jazz in the first round.
Despite the underwhelming ending to the season and if we take all of the circumstances into account, the Houston Rockets’ 22-game winning streak might be the most impressive streak in the modern NBA.
3. Miami Heat (2012-13) – 27 Wins
If there is one team in NBA history that was expected to be on this, and similar lists, it was the Miami Heat led by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Thanks to the individual skills of their top three players as well as excellent defense, Miami could make quick work of any opponent on any given night.
Heat’s most impressive run came in the 2012-13 NBA season when James, Wade, and Bosh won 27 games in a row.
Their winning campaign started on 3rd February 2013 when they defeated the Toronto Raptors and lasted until March 27 when they lost to the Chicago Bulls.
During their winning streak, Miami beat their opponents with an average of 11.5 points. They finished the season with the league’s best record of 66 wins and 16 losses.
Lebron James was named the league MVP and he finished in 2nd place in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.
The Heat would carry this momentum into the playoffs where they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, the Chicago Bulls, and the Indiana Pacers before outlasting the San Antonio Spurs in 7 games in the NBA Finals.
2. Golden State Warriors (2014-15, 2015-16) – 28 Wins (4+24)
Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors have redefined how modern basketball is played, but they could never have this kind of impact without achieving greatness themselves.
Coming fresh of a highly disputed NBA Championship against the injury-decimated Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals, the Warriors were on a mission.
They started the 2015 season with 24 wins in a row and counting in the 4 wins with which they finished the 2014-15 season, their total win streak was 28 games.
Led by Curry and Klay Thompson, on average the Warriors were defeating their opponents by 13.9 points.
Their first loss of the season came on the 12th of December 2015, and they ended up finishing the season with the greatest regular season record in the history of the NBA – 73 wins and 9 losses.
In the playoffs, Golden State made quick work of the Rockets in the first and the Blazers in the second round, before outlasting the Oklahoma City Thunder in 7 games and scheduling a rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After four games in the 2016 NBA Finals, the Warriors were up 3-1 and everything was pointing that they would wrap up their historic season with a ring since no team in the history of the NBA has come back from a 3-1 deficit.
However, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had other plans and they help the Cavs storm back with 3 wins in a row and capture an NBA ring in from of the Golden State crowd in game 7.
1. Los Angeles Lakers (1971-72) – 33 Wins
It is time to answer the question: What is the longest winning streak in NBA history?
The longest winning streak in NBA history was achieved by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers who triumphed in 33 consecutive games.
This is not only the longest winning streak in the NBA but also the longest winning streak in American professional team sports.
One look at the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers roster with Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Gail Goodrich and it is easy to see why this team holds the record.
The only odd thing about the Lakers achieving this record is the timing since the streak began after their 11-time All-Star Elgin Baylor retired from basketball.
The Lakers winning streak began on the 5th of November, 1971 when they outlasted the Baltimore Bullets and lasted until the 9th of January, 1972 when they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson.
West and Goodrich led the Los Angeles Lakers offense with 25.9 points and 25.8 points per game and helped the team achieve an average winning margin of 16 points.
Unlike the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers did not let their historic win streak go to waste, and they continued to dominate in the playoffs. They swept the Bulls before outlasting Milwaukee in six games and scheduling a finals matchup versus the New York Knicks.
New York was no match for the star-studded team from Los Angeles and managed to take only one game of the Lakers before they won the championship.
In the finals, Wilt Chamberlain averaged 19.4 points, 23.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists, and was named the Finals MVP.