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10 Longest Winning Streaks In NBA History: 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers Won 33 Consecutive Games

10 Longest Winning Streaks In NBA History: 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers Won 33 Consecutive Games

Whenever a team strings together a winning streak, it raises confidence levels across the roster. After all, the point of playing in the NBA is to win games and do so on a consistent basis. Winning championships comes as a result of winning, because more wins equal a better team record and a favorable standing in conference rankings. With a better record and standing in the conference, teams have an advantage in playing weaker teams in the playoffs en route to a deep playoff run.

But which teams won the most games in a row? The Phoenix Suns are on an unbelievable tear right now by winning 17 straight games including a victory against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. With an incredible core of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton; the Suns will be a factor this year in the playoffs. But where do the Suns rank among the best teams of all time in terms of their winning streak?

We have collected the greatest NBA teams with the greatest winning streaks in NBA history. As great as Phoenix’s run is at the moment, there are quite a few teams that managed to usurp what the Suns have done this season. It is an incredible feat for teams to string together a winning streak of over 10 games, and seeing the Suns get closer to winning 20 games might be the most exciting storyline of the season so far. Without further ado, here are the teams with the most consecutive winning streaks so far.

Honorable Mentions

16-Game Winning Streak

Boston Celtics (1964-65)

Milwaukee Bucks (1970-71)

Milwaukee Bucks (1972-73, 1973-74)

Los Angeles Lakers (1990-91)

Portland Trail Blazers (1990-91)

Los Angeles Lakers (1999-00)

Golden State Warriors (2014-15)

Boston Celtics (2017-18)

Philadelphia 76ers (2017-18)

A lot of teams managed to win 16 straight games, with 3 teams achieving this before the 1990s and 4 teams doing this in the 200s. The Philadelphia 76ers surprisingly appear on the list in 2018 in the same season as the Boston Celtics, where both teams had young talent on the roster with a ton of potential. Fast-forward to today’s date, and things have certainly changed in that respect.

The Warriors also managed an incredible 16 game winning streak behind MVP Stephen Curry and were looking like the best team on the planet by a wide margin. Shaquille O’Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers won 16 straight in 2000, the same season they lifted the championship trophy. The ‘91 Lakers and ‘91 Trail Blazers also had 16-game winning streaks which ended up in heartbreak for both teams as Portland fell to Los Angeles in the Conference Finals. The Lakers later fell in the Finals to Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

17-Game Winning Streak

Washington Capitols (1946-47)

Boston Celtics (1964-65)

San Antonio Spurs (1995-96)

Phoenix Suns (2006-07)

Dallas Mavericks (2006-07)

Los Angeles Clippers (2012-13)

Houston Rockets (2017-18)

Phoenix Suns (2021-22)

The Phoenix Suns are the latest team to win 17 straight games and have a strong chance to enter the 20s. The presence of veteran point guard Chris Paul has uplifted the entire Suns franchise and also improved the play of young stars Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges. A few years prior, the Rockets accomplished 17 straight wins as they made it to the best record in the West and later one game away from the NBA Finals.

The 2013 Clippers, also a Chris Paul-led team, won 17 straight as they finished 1st in the Pacific Division. The Mavericks won 17 straight thanks to their MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, in 2007, Otherwise, the Spurs won 17 straight under head coach Bob Hill and executive Gregg Popovich. Tim Duncan was yet to be drafted, so David Robinson was the face of the franchise at that point.

18-Game Winning Streak

Rochester Royals - (1949-50, 1950-51) (15+3)

Philadelphia 76ers (1965-66, 1966-67) (11+7)

New York Knicks (1969-70)

Boston Celtics (1981-82)

Chicago Bulls (1995-96)

Milwaukee Bucks (2019-20)

Winning 18 games in a row is no easy feat, but a handful of teams were able to do that in NBA history. The Milwaukee Bucks were the most recent team to accomplish this, dominating the league behind their MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 1996 Bulls also accomplished this feat, finishing with an unbelievable 72-10 record which is the second-best season in total wins.

Larry Bird’s Celtics also accomplished 18 straight victories in 1982, under executive Red Auerbach. It seemed anytime Larry Bird was performing at a Hall of Fame level and Auerbach was involved somehow, success usually followed. Unfortunately for Boston, Bird and the Celtics lost in the Conference Finals to the Philadelphia 76ers and could not cap off the season with a championship.

7 Tie. Atlanta Hawks (2014-15) - 19 Games

NBA Fan Trolls Utah Jazz, Compares Them To The 'Big 4' Atlanta Hawks

Unexpectedly, the Atlanta Hawks had an amazing season in the 2015 season by finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference. Thanks to an amazing 19-game winning streak, the Hawks were building a team that would make it to the Eastern Conference Finals only to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But during the regular season, the Hawks had 4 players make the All-Star Team: Al Horford, Paul Milsap, Jeff Teague, and Kyle Korver. Under head coach Mike Budenholzer, the Hawks moved the ball on offense and played as a team throughout the entire season. Even without the presence of a true superstar player, the Hawks had their best regular season to date and that memory will sit in the hearts of Atlanta fans for a very long time.

7 Tie. San Antonio Spurs (2013-14) - 19 Games

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili

The 2014 Spurs was a team out for revenge, especially after a disappointing loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals one year prior. They could not do much against the clutch shooting by Ray Allen and the sheer dominance of LeBron James and were hell-bent on showcasing their greatness the following season. With a 19-game winning streak, the Spurs had all the momentum to finish with the best record in the West.

The maturity of Kawhi Leonard was key because the versatile small forward was ready to take the next step up as an offensive option that feeds off Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. The Spurs were focused all year long, ranking 3rd in defensive rating and 7th in offensive rating. With a strong record, the Spurs used their standing to survive Dallas in the first round before making quick work of the Trail Blazers and Thunder. In the Finals rematch in the Heat, the Spurs dismantled Miami in 5 games to cap off a historical season.

7 Tie. Boston Celtics (2008-09) - 19 Games

Gabrielle Union Takes A Shot At Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, And Ray Allen For Not Admitting They Started The Superteam Trend

In 2009, the Boston Celtics were fresh off an NBA title and ready for a chance to repeat their championship success. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo were all on the squad led by head coach Doc Rivers. The Celtics managed an unbelievable 19 game winning streak for over a month, which led the franchise to start the season off with a ridiculous 27-2 record. Of the 19 straight wins, 12 were at home and 7 on the road.

During the streak, Pierce led the team in scoring at 17.1 PPG while Garnett and Rondo chipped in 16.4 PPG and 13.6 PPG respectively. The Celtics looked primed for another title run, although once their run ended, they ended up losing 7 of their next 9 games. Nonetheless, the Celtics entered the record books with their winning streak although they lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Orlando Magic.

7 Tie. Los Angeles Lakers (1999-00) - 19 Games

When Mariah Carey Welcomed Michael Jordan To The Stage At His Last All-Star Game In 2003

The early 2000s Lakers squad might be the most dominant team in NBA history because Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant were the two best players in the league by a wide margin. It would be no surprise that the Lakers would end up as NBA champions, and eventually complete a 3-peat.

Shaquille O’Neal would end up being MVP and Finals MVP in the same season, and Kobe Bryant would soon follow in his lead as the most dominant player in the league. The Lakers winning 19 games was one form of evidence of their dominance, but still, 6 teams were able to win at least 20 games in NBA history.

5 Tie. Milwaukee Bucks (1970-71) - 20 Games

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sends Message To Bucks Before Game 1- "I'm Thrilled Milwaukee Is In The Finals..."

Led by superstar center Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and veteran superstar point guard Oscar Robertson, the Milwaukee Bucks would go on a 20-game winning streak led by their stars. Oscar was acquired during the 1970 offseason and ended up being the right ingredient of the recipe for success.

Ending with a 66-16 record, the Bucks would have over a month of success and clearly had a roster that would end up being championship quality. Unsurprisingly, the Bucks would win it all in the 1971 season led by their Finals MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

5 Tie. Washington Capitols (1947-48, 1948-49) - 20 Games (15+5)

Washington Capitols (1947-48, 1948-49) - 20 Games (15+5)

The Washington Capitols are on this list because they topped off a 5-game winning streak in the 1948 season with another 15 straight wins which took them to 20 total victories. This was done during the era where the NBA was getting formed, as the third and final season of the BAA. The following season, the BAA and NBL were merged to form the NBA.

Led by old-school stars Bob Feerick and Bones McKinney, the Capitols were unbeatable for a large part of the season under Hall of Fame head coach Red Auerbach. Ranking 6th in PPG and 5th in OPPG, the Capitols made it all the way to the BAA Finals only to lose to the Minneapolis Lakers led by Hall of Famer George Mikan.

4. Houston Rockets (2007-08) - 22 Games

Yao Ming To His Neighbor Who Turned Off TV Before Tracy McGrady Scored 13 Points In 33 Seconds: "T-Mac And I Scored 15 Points In The Last Minute To Turn The Game Around."

In the 2008 season, the Houston Rockets went on a very surprising run. Without winning an NBA title a year before or even winning an NBA title following the regular season, the Rockets found a hot streak and would go on one of the most impressive runs in NBA history. The Rockets would win 10 straight with Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, only to receive bad news about their center.

Yao would suffer a broken foot, ending his hot streak and forcing the Rockets to survive without their 7’6” center. Houston would still keep their momentum, winning 12 more games courtesy of sublime teamwork as they finished 5th in the Western Conference. Houston would not have much postseason success, but their winning streak will forever be in the history books.

3. Miami Heat (2012-13) - 27 Games

Dwyane Wade On How Important The Miami Heat Big 3 Was For The NBA: "That Big 3 Changed The Game. It's A Story The NBA Will Forever Tell."

Anytime a roster features LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh; this team will win a ton of games. That is what happened in the 2013 NBA season when the Miami Heat dominated the season before winning the championship at the end of the year. With an incredible trio of stars, Miami were a force on the court.

The Heat managed an unbelievable 27 straight wins, coming against 20 different teams and 17 double-digit victories. The Heat were clearly the best team in the NBA and with the best player in the league, Miami came very close to having the greatest winning streak ever.

2. Golden State Warriors (2014-15, 2015-16) - 28 Games (4+24)

Steph Curry - 2016

Ending off the 2015 NBA championship victory and entering the 2016 season, Golden State were on a mission to prove their worth as an all-time great squad. Many critics were quick to point to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving’s injuries in previous year’s Finals, so the Warriors wanted to prove their talent was incredible.

Golden State broke the NBA record for most wins in a regular season by going 73-9 and dismantling teams with three-point shooting, spearheaded by Stephen Curry. The Warriors might be the most unstoppable team in their era, but they still could not usurp what the 1972 Los Angeles Lakers accomplished.

1. Los Angeles Lakers (1971-72) - 33 Games

The Lakers were building a reputation for not being able to win championships no matter what, as they lost 7 out of the last 10 Finals appearances. But that streak would come to an end, as Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West would deliver the goods in a season where they won 33 straight games.

With around 2 months without a loss, the Lakers looked primed to overcome their demons and win it once and for all. Fittingly enough, the reigning NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks were the team to defeat the Lakers and end their unbelievable streak. But winning 69 games for the season, the Lakers won the NBA championship which would be the first one in the city of Los Angeles. 


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