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OKC Thunder: Five things to know about the streaking San Antonio Spurs

Spurs have won 18 in a row heading into Wednesday’s game with Golden State that precedes Thursday’s game with the Thunder.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 1, 2014
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The San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost since Feb. 21.

Since suffering that 21-point loss at Phoenix, their final stop on a nine-game rodeo trip, the Spurs have reeled of 18 straight wins, a franchise record for consecutive victories.

Should the Spurs win at home Wednesday against Golden State, they’ll come to Oklahoma City for Thursday’s showdown with the Thunder riding a 19-game winning streak. It would add even more intrigue to a game that already holds significance for what it means in the standings. The Thunder trails the Spurs by 31/2 games for first place in the Western Conference and the right to have homecourt advantage throughout at least the West Finals.

So with San Antonio set to arrive as the hottest team in basketball, here are five things you should know about the streaking Spurs.

•They’re winning big. Over the course of their winning streak, the Spurs are destroying opponents by 16.5 points on average. San Antonio is averaging 111.2 points during the streak and has a league-leading offensive efficiency of 112.5. And they’re winning in different ways. One night, it’s high-octane offense. The next, it’s lockdown defense. San Antonio has allowed 100 points or more eight times during the streak, including a high mark of 112 to Orlando. But the Spurs also have blanketed teams by holding six opponents to 90 points or fewer, while also limiting opponents on the whole to 42.4 percent shooting in the streak. It’s as if they’re forcing you to pick your poison.

•They’ve got great balance and ball movement. This could be the most impressive aspect of the streak. In the 18 games, San Antonio has had only 16 20-point scorers. Tony Parker has scored at least 20 five times, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have done it three times apiece, Marco Belinelli has done it twice and Kahwi Leonard, Danny Green and Austin Daye each reached 20 once. Parker is the lone 30-point scorer over this current stretch, reaching that mark just once. Rather than rely on one or two scorers, the Spurs have gotten an average of 5.7 players in double figures over the streak. They’re averaging an eye-popping 28.4 assists in their last 18, which is three more assists than their league-leading average. They’ve had 30 or more assists eight times in this streak. In a 122-101 win over Cleveland, they dished an incredible 39 assists on 43 made field goals.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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