The Most Impressive Winning Streaks in Sports

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By Holden Walter-Warner

The Cleveland Indians' win streak ended after 22 straight games with a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals. The streak goes into the books as the second-longest in MLB history behind the 1916 New York Giants’ record 26-game win streak. 

So how does their streak stack up with some of the other legendary winning streaks in sports history? 

21: new england patriots

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From October 2003 to October 2004, the New England Patriots won 21 straight games, including a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII. The streak (and that Super Bowl) took Tom Brady's legend status into a new stratosphere. New England went on another lengthy streak in 2007, but things didn't end as well, as they famously missed out on a perfect 19-0 season with a loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

33: Los Angeles Lakers

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The longest winning streak in NBA history belongs to the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers, who won 33 straight games. They wound up going 69-13 during Wilt Chamberlain's penultimate season. The Golden State Warriors neared the streak a few years ago, but came up short at 28 straight.

55: mount union purple raiders

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Don't try to tell the Purple Raiders that Division III is irrelevant. From 1996 to 1999, the football powerhouse won 54 consecutive games. They weren't satisfied, though - after that streak ended, they immediately began another one that ended in 2003 with 55 straight victories.

63: team usa basketball

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From 1936 to 1972, the United States men's basketball team won 63 straight games, taking home seven consecutive gold medals. That streak finally came to an end in a controversial loss to the former Soviet Union in the 1972 Summer Olympic Games.

88: ucla bruins

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In men's college basketball, the UCLA Bruins remain in a class of their own. With legendary head coach John Wooden leading the team, the Bruins won 88 straight games from 1971 to 1974, a streak that included three NCAA titles. Nobody on the men's side has come close to touching UCLA's record.

111: connecticut huskies

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Legendary coach Geno Auriemma has built a dynasty in Storrs, Connecticut, one showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Their pinnacle began on December 23, 2014 and lasted until the 2017 Final Four, when the Huskies had their 111-game winning streak snapped. They broke their own record during the streak, previously winning 90 consecutive games.

151: de la salle spartans

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For over a decade, this California high school football team couldn't lose. Their 151-game winning streak lasted from 1992 to 2004, churning out future NFL stars such as Maurice Jones-Drew and Amani Toomer. The movie When the Game Stands Tall is based on the Spartans' incredible streak.

8,829: Harlem globetrotters

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This streak will never be surpassed. It's also a bit unfair. After all, the unwritten rules dictate that the Harlem Globetrotters defeat the Washington Generals every time they play. In 1971, however, the Generals (disguised as the New Jersey Reds) won a game on a last-second shot, ending a streak of 2,495 wins.

Immediately after that loss, they started another streak that would last through 1995, when a European team led by an aging Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stopped the streak. That 24-year period included 8,829 consecutive victories.

It would only take the Cleveland Indians another 51 undefeated seasons to match that win total. 

up next: usain bolt's career in pictures

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Teams can go on dominant winning streaks, but so can individual athletes. Usain Bolt can show you a thing or two about being on top of the sporting world.

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