The Boston Celtics' incredible winning streak was snapped at 16 as they were beaten by the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
The 104-98 loss ends a remarkable run for the C's but they still have the league's best record at 16-3.
Boston had trailed in the fourth quarter in eight of their 16 wins and having found themselves in the same scenario again in Miami, they pulled to within one point but one stroke of luck proved that their streak was destined to come to an end.
Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters took a three-point shot that bounced off the rim, off the top of the backboard and agonisingly back down through the hoop with just over three minutes left.
It extended Miami's lead to four and they would not relinquish it as the battling Celtics failed to come back and finally accepted defeat.
All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving believed it was time their winning run was halted.
"There's still a lot to accomplish going forward," Irving said, per ESPN's Israel Gutierrez. "It was a nice streak. But it was time to come to an end."
The Celtics certainly hadn't dominated all of the games on their streak and had overturned double-digit deficits on multiple occasions through sheer will, determination and amazing defence.
They haven't been clicking offensively for the majority of the season but have won games thanks to the brilliance of Irving who has carried them down the stretch and produced some breathtaking individual displays.
But on the night, they came up against a Heat team that matched them for energy and effort on both ends of the floor and were fired up to win the game having previously lost to Boston at home as part of their 16-game run.
"You could tell they were locked in all night," Irving said. "They wanted it. You gotta credit their energy."
After a 47-point outburst against the Dallas Mavericks in a hard-fought overtime win in their last encounter, Kyrie chipped in with 23 points on 11-of-22 shooting in 33 minutes of action in South Beach.
The men from Beantown will now look to bounce back having tasted defeat for the first time since October 18 when they were beaten at home by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Their attempt at forging another long winning streak will begin with the visit of the Orlando Magic to TD Garden on Friday night.