Injuries, age, even haunted hotel rooms. None of that has been enough to stop the San Antonio Spurs machine.
The Spurs dismantled the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. It was another unyielding effort in the second game of a back-to-back and ran their winning streak to 17 in a row, which tied a franchise record.
They've weathered injuries to Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, haven't seen age slow Tim Duncan or Ginobili and even overcame a scare at the Claremont Resort in Berkley, Calif., last week to rack up a league-high 57 victories.
In town to play the Golden State, Jeff Ayres and Duncan both told reporters that they were certain they heard the noises of a baby coming from Ayres' room before he checked in. When the front desk called the room, there was no one in there. Duncan said the experience gave him chills, but the Spurs are the ones striking fear in the rest of the league.
They lead Oklahoma City by 3½ games for the NBA's best record and have put it all together with the playoffs approaching. They are looking to make another run at the title after losing to Miami in seven games last season.
"This (winning streak) is great challenge," Duncan said. "It's a big challenge. People can get lackadaisical and look past certain games. We've done a good job of not doing that."
Here are five things to watch this week.
WIZARDS AT BOBCATS: When is the last time a Wizards-Bobcats game in late March meant anything? But seventh-seeded Charlotte is three games behind sixth-seeded Washington in the East. The Bobcats get the Wizards twice in the final eight games to try to chase them down, including Monday night.
BEVERLEY'S IMPACT: The Houston Rockets are going to find out just how important injured point guard Patrick Beverley is this week. They run a gauntlet of top PGs when they face Oklahoma City and Russell Westbrook, Toronto and Kyle Lowry, Brooklyn and Deron Williams and Denver and Ty Lawson.