Winning streaks in the NBA demonstrate a team firing on all cylinders, dominating opponents during a sustained period of excellence. While win streaks of 10-15 games occur on a somewhat regular basis, streaks beyond 15 straight wins are rare and indicate a historically great level of play.
The longest winning streak ever in the NBA belongs to the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, led by legends Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Gail Goodrich under coach Bill Sharman. That Lakers squad reeled off 33 straight wins during a season where they set a still-standing NBA record by winning 69 games.
Here is a look at the longest winning streaks in league history and the elite teams that put together these remarkable runs:
1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers – 33 Straight Wins
The 1971-72 Lakers boasted a ridiculous winning percentage of .893 while featuring three future Hall of Famers in their starting lineup with Chamberlain, West and Goodrich. Chamberlain was no longer in his prime at 35 years old, but the Stilt averaged 15 points and 19.2 rebounds during the streak while anchoring the middle on defense. West led the balanced Lakers attack with 25.8 points per game and 7.5 assists per game with his silky smooth jumper and attacking mentality. Sharpshooting guard Goodrich complemented West perfectly in the backcourt by averaging 25.4 points per game while stretching the floor with his three-point shooting gravity. The Lakers got off to a scintillating 23-3 start to the season and then ramped their play up to an even higher level by reeling off 33 straight wins, including streaks of 12, 16 and 5 wins. It was an NBA record win streak that stood for 24 years.
The Lakers dominated with an average scoring margin of +16.1 points per game behind an explosive offense led by West and Goodrich that scored 121 points per 100 possessions as well as a throttling defense anchored by Chamberlain that limited opponents to 104 points per 100 possessions. During the unfathomable winning streak, the Lakers defeated opponents by an average of over 15 points per game. Five games were decided by 10 points or less showing this Lakers team had mental toughness to close out tight games as well. They steamrolled a majority of opponents, including a 162-99 trouncing of the Golden State Warriors. Their suffocating defense limited the Baltimore Bullets to just 87 total points in one contest.
Each of Los Angeles’ astonishing 33 straight wins were impressive, cementing their status as one of the most dominant teams ever assembled. The Lakers winning streak finally came to an end on January 9, 1972 on the road against a strong Milwaukee Bucks team led by Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Oscar Robertson. Those two legendary players both notched triple-doubles in the game, proving too much for the Lakers in a 120-104 Bucks win. Even with that loss, the Lakers went on to finish 69-13 on the season which stood as the best regular season record in league history for 25 years.
They rode their immense winning streak to propel them to the NBA title, where they defeated the New York Knicks in five games. Chamberlain won his only NBA Finals MVP award, averaging 19.2 points per game and 23.2 rebounds per game in the championship series against New York.The 1971-72 Lakers incredible 33-game win streak demonstrates how special that collection of all-time great players was when they were at their peak powers meshing together. No team has seriously challenged their longest streak ever, and it’s unlikely any squad ever replicates that kind of extended dominance.
2012-13 Miami Heat – 27 Straight Wins
The star-studded Miami Heat won back-to-back NBA titles in 2012 and 2013 led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. That 2012-13 Heat squad went on an earth-shattering run by winning 27 consecutive games spanning nearly two full months. They demolished opponents by over 10 points per game during that eight-week stretch.Their historic streak propelled them to an insane 66-16 record and No. 1 playoff seed before eventually toppling the San Antonio Spurs in an iconic seven-game Finals. The 2012-13 Heat mesmerized on both ends by scoring a blistering 110 points per 100 possessions offensively, pouring in over 103 points per game behind James’ MVP year averaging 26.8 points, 7.3 assists and 8 rebounds on historic shooting efficiency. They throttled opponents to allow under 94 points per 100 possessions thanks to swarming team defense led by James and Wade dominating the perimeter.
During their 27 straight W’s, the Heat blitzed opponents by double digits a whopping 23 times. Their average margin of victory exceeded 12 points per game overall. However, they did have a few nail biters showing their mental resolve including consecutive single possession wins over Orlando, Philadelphia and Boston in March. Ultimately they proved too much for the entire league over nearly two whole months thanks to incredible play from the Big 3. James and Wade each had the highest scoring averages of their careers during this reign of terror.It took a perfect game from an underdog Chicago Bulls group to finally halt Miami’s streak at 27 wins and Second City hero Jimmy Butler dropped 28 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists leading them to a 4-point home victory snapping the run. Miami struggled over their final six regular season contests, perhaps feeling the effects of the long streak. But they regrouped in the playoffs, winning each of their final 16 games en route to consecutive titles with the 27-game streak headlining their most dominant regular season campaign.
2015-16 Golden State Warriors – 24 Straight Wins
The recent Golden State Warriors juggernaut that dominated five straight years from 2014-2019 posted the second longest win streak ever when the 2015-16 squad ripped off 24 consecutive victories. Golden State tipped off their historic run by erasing a 23-point deficit against the LA Clippers for an eventual 11-point victory. They reeled off 11 more wins to reach 37-4 before Cleveland halted them. But Steph Curry and company quickly started another streak by winning 13 more leading into the All-Star break.
That Warriors team that won an NBA record 73 regular season games received huge contributions from their two-time MVP Curry as he averaged 30 points per game on blistering shooting efficiency, including 45.4% from three-point range. Sharpshooter Klay Thompson poured in 22.1 points per game while anchoring the league’s top defense. Do-everything forward Draymond Green stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7 assists and 1.5 blocks and steals per game. The versatile, small-ball “death lineup” rounded out by Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes was virtually unstoppable all season long.Golden State beat opponents during the 24-game streak by more than 13 points per night in typical Warriors blowout fashion.
Curry dropped 40 or more points five times while the team averaged over 118 points per game offensively on greater than 50% shooting accuracy, including winning their final seven games of the streak by 15-plus points leading into another showdown with San Antonio. The Spurs ended the juggernaut this time behind 38 points and 37 minutes from veteran Tim Duncan to edge the Warriors by two points at home.The Warriors set a regular season record that year with 73 wins while leading the league in scoring, field goal percentage, assists and steals. They bulldozed their way through the Western Conference playoffs before squandering a 3 games to 1 NBA Finals lead in agonizing fashion to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Their win streak ending stung less than that Finals collapse that deprived them of back-to-back championships. But that Warriors team demonstrated a sustained excellence over 24 games that only the 1971-72 Lakers have truly exceeded.
2007-08 Houston Rockets – 22 Straight Wins
The Houston Rockets’ remarkable 22-game winning streak during the 2007-08 NBA season stands as one of the most memorable runs in basketball history. Beginning on January 29, 2008, and concluding on March 18, 2008, this streak showcased the Rockets’ exceptional teamwork, resilience, and determination.
Led by stars Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, the Rockets defied the odds, overcoming injuries and adversity to secure victory after victory. The streak not only elevated their position in the Western Conference but also captivated basketball fans worldwide.
Houston’s success during this streak can be attributed to a combination of factors. Yao Ming’s dominant presence in the post and Tracy McGrady’s scoring ability were complemented by a supporting cast that played exceptional defense and moved the ball efficiently. Coach Rick Adelman’s strategy emphasized unselfish play, and the team’s chemistry was evident on the court. It’s worth nothing that the team had to deal with plenty of injuries during that period too.
The Rockets’ 22-game winning streak not only solidified their place in NBA history but also demonstrated the power of determination and unity in sports. Although they fell short of an NBA championship that season, their incredible run remains an enduring symbol of perseverance and excellence in the world of basketball.
1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks – 20 Straight Wins
Now we circle back to the truly legendary Milwaukee Bucks team from 1970-71 that nearly swept the finals after posting a 66-16 regular season. The Bucks poured it on that year by assembling a 20-game win streak spanning over 40 days during which they outscored opponents by a whopping margin of 13.6 points per game. This run solidified Milwaukee as the class of the NBA and clear title favorites at that time.The Bucks featured a young Lew Alcindor already in his prime during just his second NBA season averaging 31.7 points per game on 57.7% shooting alongside veteran playmaker Oscar Robertson. Robertson kept the Bucks offense humming as a willing passer averaging 8.2 assists per game while also scoring 19.4 points and snatching 6 boards per contest. Sharpshooters Jon McGlocklin (15.8 points) and Bob Dandridge (18.4) spaced the floor perfectly by converting over half their shot attempts.
During their 20-game annihilation, the Bucks saw Alcindor pour in 35+ points seven separate times demonstrating the individual dominance he pairs with Robertson’s team-lifting skills. The duo frequently sat the fourth quarter with the game already well at hand. The balanced and deep Bucks left every opponent feeling helpless, resulting in their obliteration of the NBA landscape for nearly two straight months.Ultimately, the San Diego Rockets halted Milwaukee’s streak thanks to 34 points and 19 rebounds from Elvin Hayes. However, the Bucks achieved the league’s best record and Alcindor captured MVP honors before leading them to their first and only championship by dominating with 35.2 points and 16.6 rebounds per game against Baltimore in the Finals. The Bucks incredible 20-game run established them as a truly all-time great squad.
2013-14 San Antonio Spurs – 19 Straight Wins
The 2013-14 San Antonio Spurs produced arguably the most beautiful, efficient and unselfish brand of basketball ever seen while sprinting their way to 19 consecutive wins and an eventual league crown over the Miami Heat. The Spurs were led by Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili as they clinched their fifth championship as a unified core. But they also received major contributions from young role players Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green along with veteran secondary scorers Boris Diaw and Patty Mills.That Spurs team moved the ball masterfully with pinpoint passing, spacing the floor perfectly to generate open three-pointers and shot a league-leading 52.8% from the field.
They were unstoppable for nearly two straight months, extending their win streak to a whopping 19 games which has them tied for the third-longest streak ever. Their average margin of victory during that roll was nearly 15 points per game as they made mincemeat of opponents by cutting them up meticulously on both ends.An old and injured Miami Heat squad led by an aging Dwyane Wade and breaking down Chris Bosh finally halted them in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But the Spurs recovered to take Games 2-3 before sealing the series with three more straight wins for payback and vindication over Miami which had edged them out the previous year. The 2014 Spurs produced arguably the finest season-long display of selfless and efficient basketball the league has ever witnessed.
2008-09 Boston Celtics – 19 Straight Wins
The Boston Celtics “Big Three” era produced an NBA crown their very first season together behind Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. That 2007-08 Celtics squad started out hot by winning 19 of their first 20 contests. They also reeled of separate win streaks of 12 and 10 games en route to a dominant 66-16 season.However, the 2008-09 Celtics one-upped themselves by assembling a single streak of 19 consecutive wins spanning nearly two months. Boston played air tight defense allowing just 93 points per game during the roll led by Garnett and young point guard Rajon Rondo with his long arms and quick hands. Pierce paced their offense with 20.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists as the league’s top team from start to finish at 62-20.
The Celtics streak proved just how determined and hungry that veteran group was after falling one win short of back-to-back titles the previous campaign. They demolished most opponents by nearly 15 points per game including statement victories over strong Orlando, New Orleans and Phoenix squads along with a 32-point thumping of Pau Gasol’s Lakers at Staples Center. An undermanned Indiana Pacers team halted Boston’s momentum late in January as Danny Granger and Troy Murphy combined for 53 points.But the Celtics had already secured home court throughout the 2009 playoffs thanks to their torrid stretch. Unfortunately, Garnett suffered a serious knee injury in February that greatly diminished their hopes as they fell to the Magic in a tough second round series. At full health, Boston may have pushed the Lakers harder in a potential NBA Finals matchup but that 19-game streak still showcases one of the most mentally tough teams ever.
1999-2000 LA Lakers – 19 Straight Wins
The Los Angeles Lakers’ 19-game winning streak during the 1999-2000 NBA season was a dazzling display of dominance that showcased the team’s championship potential. Beginning on February 4, 2000, and ending on March 13, 2000, this remarkable run was a precursor to the Lakers’ eventual NBA title that season.
Under the guidance of head coach Phil Jackson and led by the dynamic duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers tore through their competition with a blend of offensive firepower and defensive prowess. O’Neal’s dominant presence in the paint and Bryant’s burgeoning scoring ability were complemented by a talented supporting cast that included players like Glen Rice, Ron Harper, and Derek Fisher.
What made this streak even more impressive was the Lakers’ ability to maintain consistency and composure during the regular season’s grueling schedule. They showcased their resilience by defeating formidable opponents, including the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs, during this run.
Ultimately, the 19-game winning streak not only solidified the Lakers’ position as a championship contender but also established them as a team to be reckoned with in the years to come. This remarkable stretch of victories was a precursor to the Lakers’ eventual three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002, cementing their place in basketball history as one of the great dynasties of the modern era.
2014-15 Atlanta Hawks – 19 Straight Wins
The Atlanta Hawks’ 19-game winning streak during the 2014-2015 NBA season was a remarkable and unexpected achievement that left a lasting mark on the franchise’s history. This incredible run catapulted the Hawks into the upper echelon of the league and captured the imagination of basketball fans worldwide.
Under the guidance of head coach Mike Budenholzer, the Hawks adopted a team-first approach that emphasized unselfish play, ball movement, and stifling defense. Their balanced and cohesive style of basketball was characterized by contributions from multiple players, including Paul Millsap, Al Horford, Jeff Teague, and Kyle Korver. This team-oriented approach made them a formidable opponent on any given night.
The Hawks’ 19-game winning streak was particularly notable because it was achieved without any bona fide superstars, relying instead on collective effort and chemistry. Their impressive run was built on consistency, tenacity, and a commitment to playing the game the right way.
Although the Hawks fell short of an NBA championship that season, their winning streak demonstrated that teamwork and dedication could lead to success in a league often dominated by individual star power. The 2014-2015 Atlanta Hawks will be remembered as a team that showcased the beauty of selfless basketball and left an indelible mark on the franchise’s history.