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Neither the Blue Devils nor the Rockets won championships in those years.

“It’s hard to win one game in this league, which people don’t realize,” Battier said. “The amount of preparation, the amount of time you have to study your opponent. Even for the most talented team, so much has to go right for you to win one game.”

The 22-game streak in Houston was one that Battier will forever savor because that Rockets team was just not expected to be great.

And for more than a month, they were beyond great.

“It was one of the best times in my basketball career because it was so bizarre,” Battier said. “We came out of nowhere. It was a team that was a pretty good team, a playoff team. We weren’t contenders and we just kept winning. … It was a perfect storm.”

Of course, the expectations in Miami are just a tad higher than what those Rockets faced.

Still, there is a residual benefit from being tested in the regular season, especially when a game is on the line in the final seconds. And the pressure of that moment against the Magic, the pressure _ if any exists _ of the winning streak, it wasn’t enough to thwart the Heat on Wednesday.

“I don’t know if we relish them,” Battier said of late-game, close-game situations. “There’s a huge benefit because the playoffs are all about executing under stressful situations. And although a regular-season game, even if it’s tight like that can’t replicate the pressure and stress of a playoff game, it’s good to be in those situations just to see how you respond and learn.”

That was the mood in the Heat locker room after Wednesday’s scintillating finish. Another lesson learned, time to move on.

When some players were asked about the potential for things like 20-game winning streaks and putting together one of the longest runs in NBA history, the response was typically no more than a shrug.

“We don’t even talk about it,” James said. “We don’t really get caught up into the streak at all. What we are trying to do is bigger than a streak.”