SAN ANTONIO — Manu Ginobili scored 26 points and the San Antonio Spurs won their 19th in a row to tie the NBA record for longest winning streak kept alive in the playoffs, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-98 to open the Western Conference finals on Sunday night.
Obeying orders snarled by coach Gregg Popovich in a fourth-quarter timeout to play “nasty,” the Spurs erased a nine-point deficit that stunned the Thunder, who had looked on their way to finally kicking the perception that they're the underdog.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 27 points. Russell Westbrook had 17.
The 2001 Lakers are the only other team to carry a winning streak this long in the playoffs — and they did so on their way to a championship. Game 2 is Tuesday night.