San Antonio Spurs
1976/77: The Spurs made their debut on October 22nd stunning the 76ers in Philadelphia 121-118. However, the Spurs would win just one of their next seven games as they tried to adjust to life in the NBA. In November the Spurs would find their stride winning six straight games, by February the Spurs were ten games over .500, with NBA’s highest scoring team at 115 ppg. However, the Spurs also had the league’s worst defense at 114.4 ppg as they struggled down the stretch to finish in third place in the Central Division with a record of 44-38. In the playoffs the struggle would continue as they were swept in two straight games by the Boston Celtics.
1977/78: George Gervin and David Thompson of the Denver Nuggets would battle all season for the NBA scoring title. On the final day of the season Thompson would take the lead by scoring 73 points in an afternoon game against the Detroit Pistons. That night Gervin knew he needed 58 points against the Jazz in New Orleans. Gervin would get off to a good start by scoring 20 points in the 1st Quarter. In the 2nd Quarter the Iceman was even better setting a single period record with 33 points. Early on in the 3rd Quarter Gervin would score his 58 points on the way to 63 capturing the scoring title. While Gervin was lighting up the scoreboard the Spurs were winning the Central Division with a 52-30 record. However, in the playoffs the Spurs would be stunned in six games by the Washington Bullets despite an outstanding series from Gervin who averaged 33.2 ppg.
1978/79: The Spurs opened the season with a franchise record 153 setting the tone for the rest of the season scoring a league high 119.3 ppg on the way to their second straight Division Title with a record of 48-34, as George Gervin again took home the league scoring title. In the playoffs the Spurs would get their first taste of postseason success as they survived a seven-game series against the Philadelphia 76ers. However, in the Eastern Conference Finals the Spurs would be shot down by the Washington Bullets in seven games, losing the final three games after grabbing a 3-1 series lead by a combined 14 points.
1979/80: George Gervin wins his third straight scoring title, but the Spurs struggle at the .500 mark all season with a poor defense that allows a league worse 119.7 ppg. The Spurs would go on to finish the season with a record of 41-41 barely sneaking into the playoffs. In the playoffs the Spurs would be knocked off in a three-game series by the Houston Rockets.
1980/81: Under realignment the Spurs are shifted to the Midwestern Division in the Western Conference. To improve on last season performance the Spurs looked to shore up the defense by acquiring Dave Corzine, Dave Johnson, and Reggie Johnson. The moves paid immediate dividends as the Spurs jumped out to a 10-2 start, on the way to a Division Crown with a 52-30 record. However, in the playoffs the Spurs would be stunned in seven games by the cross-state Houston Rockets.
1981/82: Led by George Gervin who wins his 4th scoring title in five years with 32.3 ppg the Spurs win their second straight division title with a record of 48-34. In the playoffs the Spurs atoned from their failures a season earlier by beating the Seattle Supersonics in five games. However, in the Western Finals the Spurs would be swept in four straight games by the Los Angeles Lakers.
1982/83: The Spurs looking to get stronger acquire former ABA star Artis Gilmore from the Chicago Bulls for Mark Olberding and Dave Corzine. The mover would pay off as the Spurs won their third straight Midwestern Division with a solid 53-29 record. In the playoffs the Spurs faced the Denver Nuggets in the highest scoring playoff series in NBA history, winning in five games by incredible average score of 132.8-119.4. However, in the Western Finals the Spurs would be beaten by the Los Angeles Lakers again this time falling in six games.
1983/84: With Coach Stan Albeck leaving to Coach the New Jersey Nets the Spurs suddenly fell apart under replacement Morris McHone getting off to a 6-12 start. McHone would not even last to the New Year as GM Bob Bass tried to step in salvage the season. However, with Johnny Moore and Artis Gilmore missing time due to injuries the Spurs would miss the playoffs with a disappointing fifth place record of 37-45.
1984/85: Under new Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons the Spurs showed flashes on the way to a 41-41 season that saw them land in fourth Place. In the playoffs the Spurs almost stunned the first Place Denver Nuggets before falling in the decisive fifth game by 27 points. Following the season, the Ice Age would come to an end in San Antonio as George Gervin was traded to the Chicago Bulls.
1985/86: The Spurs would get off to a decent start playing with a 19-13 record through the first two months. However, in late December Johnny Moore would be stricken with desert fever, ending his season and effectively ending his career. Without Moore the Spurs would struggle the rest of the way losing 10 of 16 games in January and 13 of 16 in March to finish with a last place 35-47 record. Despite finishing in last place, the Spurs had the eighth best record in the Western Conference, and made the playoffs where they were swept in three straight games by the Los Angeles Lakers.
1986/87: With Bob Weiss taking over the Coaching duties the Spurs fortunes would not improve as they finished in last place for the second straight season with an awful 28-54 record, and this time there would be no playoff reprieve. Following the season, the Spurs would earn the top pick in the lottery, instead of concentrating on the current team the Spurs made a commitment to the future by drafting Naval Academy Star David Robinson. However, since Robinson had a two-year commitment to the Navy the Spurs would have to wait for his debut.
1987/88: The waiting for David Robinson began with Spurs continued struggle on the court as they finished with a 31-51 record. Once again, the Spurs would sneak into the playoffs as the 8th seed, but once again the Spurs proved they didn’t belong in the postseason as they were swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in three straight games.
1988/89: The Spurs make a Change at the top as Red McCombs buys out his partners to take full ownership of the Spurs, while Larry Brown was brought into Coach. However, on the court the only thing Spurs fans had to look forward to, was that David Robinson was now just one year away as the team struggled all season on the way to finishing in fifth place with a miserable 21-61 record.
1989/90: The anticipated debut of David Robinson finally occurs on November 4th at HemisFair Arena against the Lakers. Robinson would show no rust in his debut as the he scored 23 points in a 106-98 win. With Robinson winning Rookie of the Year the Spurs go from worst to first with an impressive 56-26 record that set a new franchise high for wins. In the playoffs the Spurs would make quick work of the Denver Nuggets sweeping them in three straight games. However, in the second Round the young Spurs would lose a heartbreaking seven game series to the Portland Trailblazers. In the exciting series the Spurs would lose two games in double overtime, and Game 6 by a slim three-point margin.
1990/91: Despite losing Rod Strickland and Terry Cummings for long stretched due to injuries the Spurs again win the Midwest Division with a solid 54-28 record. However, in the playoffs the Spurs would be stunned by the Golden State Warriors in four games.
1991/92: Through most of the first half the Spurs struggled with mediocrity holding a 21-17 record in late January when Coach Larry Brown suddenly steps down. Taking the reins for the fourth time in 17 years would be General Manager Bob Bass. Under Bass the Spurs would play slightly stronger finished the season in second place with a 47-35 record. However, in the playoffs the Spurs would fall in the first round again as they are swept in three straight games by the Phoenix Suns.
1992/93: In the final season at the HemisFair Arena the Spurs would bring in legendary College Coach Jerry Tarkanian to lead the team. However, under Tark the Shark the Spurs never jelled, as he is replaced just 20 games into the season. With Jerry Lucas taking over as Coach the Spurs finally played up to their full potential finishing in second place with a solid 49-33 record. In the playoffs the Spurs would shake off their past failures by beating the Portland Trailblazers in four games. In the second Round the Spurs would find themselves a quick 2-0 hole to the Phoenix Suns. However, as the series returned to San Antonio, they defended their crumbling home like the Alamo winning two straight games to even the series. After losing Game 5 in Phoenix; HemisFair Arena would finally fall as David Robinson missed a 20-footer as time expired in a 102-100 loss in Game 6.
1993/94: To alleviate some of the pressure of David Robinson the Spurs acquire rebounding king Dennis Rodman from the Detroit Pistons. Playing in the spacious Alamodome the trade worked wonders as Rodman led the NBA with 17.6 rebounds per game, which helped David Robinson win the league’s scoring title. However, the Spurs would fall three games short in their quest for the Division Title with a record of 55-27. However, in the payoffs the often-enigmatic Rodman would become a distraction as he scuffled with Coach John Lucas as the Spurs fell to the Utah Jazz in four games. Following the season Coach Jerry Lucas would depart for a job as General Manager with Philadelphia 76ers, he would be replaced by Bob Hill as coach of the Spurs.
1994/95: With Dennis Rodman serving a suspension at the start of the season the Spurs stumbled out of the gate holding a record of 7-9. However, the Spurs would soon go on a 15-game winning streak as they climbed the standings in the Midwest Division, winning 21 of their final 23 games on the way to a league best record of 62-20 that set a new franchise record in wins. Along the way David Robinson won his second straight scoring title and his first MVP award. In the playoffs the Spurs would make quick work of the Denver Nuggets sweeping them in three straight games. In the second Round Rodman and Coach Bob Hill would begin to have friction as Rodman seemed to be self-destructing again, as the Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. In the Western Finals Rodman had become a sideshow and the Spurs could no longer avoid the distraction as they fell to the Houston Rockets in six games. Following the season, the Spurs would trade Rodman to the Chicago Bulls, no longer being able to handle the distractions that came along with the NBA’s top rebounder.
1995/96: Without Dennis Rodman the Spurs had a solid team chemistry led by David Robinson and Sean Elliott on the way to their second straight Division Title at 59-23. In the playoffs the Spurs would easily beat the Phoenix Suns in four games. However, in the second round the Spurs would again stumble in the postseason losing to the Utah Jazz in six games.
1996/97: Injuries would cripple the Spurs right from the start of the season, as David Robinson started the season on the injured list. Without Robinson the Spurs would lose 15 out of their first 18 games as Coach Bob Hill was fired and replaced by GM Greg Popovich. However, under Popovich things would not get better as David Robinson returned to play just nine games before breaking his leg. In addition to Robinson, the Spurs lost Chuck Person for the entire season. While Chuck Person was limited to 17 games and Sean Elliot was limited to 39. In total four of the Spurs top six scorers form the previous season were lost for more than half the season. No team could overcome such a plague of injuries and the Spurs bottomed out finishing with a franchise worse 20-62 record. However, the pain would turn to pleasure following the season as the Spurs earned the top pick in the draft lottery allowing them to select Wake Forrest star Tim Duncan.
1997/98: With the return of David Robinson and the addition of Tim Duncan the Spurs had one of the most formidable frontcourt duos in NBA history. Duncan would make his presence known immediately taking Rookie of the Year honors while leading all NBA players in double-doubles with 57. A year after making the steepest decline in NBA history the Spurs made the biggest improvement finishing in second Place with a solid 56-26 record. In the playoffs the Spurs would make easily knock off the Phoenix Suns in four games. In the second round the Spurs were matched up against the Utah Jazz. In the first two games in Utah, Tim Duncan was impressive, but the Spurs lost two heartbreakers. When the series returned to the Alamodome the Spurs won Game 3 despite Tim Duncan injuring his ankle. In the final two games Duncan played through pain but the Spurs chances were shot as they fell in five games.
1998/99: After a promising rookie season from Tim Duncan Spurs fans could hardly wait for the start of the next season. However, they would have to wait three and half months as half of the NBA season was wiped out by a lockout. However, when the season started the Spurs started slowly posting 6-8 record in February. However, come March the Spurs roared like a lion winning 31 of their final 36 games on the way to a league best record of 37-13. In the playoffs the Spurs would knock off the Minnesota Timberwolves in four games, winning two games on the road after dropping Game 2 at home. Moving on to the second round the Spurs Twin Towers of David Robinson and Tim Duncan outplayed Shaquille O’Neal as the Spurs swept the Los Angeles Lakers in four straight games. After taking Game 1 in the West Finals the Spurs faced heading to Portland even at a game apiece as the trailed the Blazers by double digits all game. However, in the 4th Quarter the Spurs would make a run and with :09 seconds left Sean Elliott tip toed down the sidelines staying barley inbounds to nail a dramatic game winning three pointers. From there the Spurs would go on to sweep the Trail Blazers to become the first former ABA team to make an NBA Final. Unknown publicly Elliott was suffering through a rare kidney ailment at the time. In the Finals more than 39,000 fans witnessed the Spurs easily beat the New York Knicks in the first two games at the Alamodome. After losing Game 3 in New York the Spurs rebounded to take a commanding three games to one lead. Trailing late in Game 5, Avery Johnson nailed the Finals clinching shot with 47 seconds left as The Spurs beat the Knicks 78-77 to win their first ever NBA Championship. Tim Duncan would average 27.4 points and 14 rebounds would be named Finals MVP.
1999/00: Coming of their first NBA Championship the Spurs were still among the best teams in the West battling for first place in the Midwest Division all season. On March 14th the Spurs playoff spirits would get a lift when Sean Elliott who received a kidney transplant prior to the season returned and played in the last 19 games. However, as the season wound down Tim Duncan would suffer a knee injury as the Spurs finished in second place with a 53-29 record. Without Duncan in the playoffs the Spurs would be knocked off by the Phoenix Suns in four games.
2000/01: The Spurs continued to be among the NBA’s elite recapturing the Midwest Division with a 58-24 record, while posting a league best 33-8 record at home. In the playoffs the Spurs would easily knock off the Minnesota Timberwolves in four games before beating the Dallas Mavericks in five games to set up a much-anticipated Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the match up would turn into a mismatch as the Spurs are overwhelmed by the Lakers in four straight games. Following a season in which he played 52 games transplant recipient Sean Elliott would retire.
2001/02: With David Robinson showing signs of age, Tim Duncan needed to step it up for the Spurs to be successful, and step it up he did win the NBA MVP while finishing in the top five in rebounding, blocks and points. In addition, the Spurs got unexpected contribution from 19-year old Rookie Tony Parker, on the way to another Division title with a record of 58-24. In the playoffs the Spurs would need the full five games to survive a challenge by the settle Supersonics. However, in the second Round the Spurs would be sunk by the Los Angeles Lakers again falling in five games. The season would mark the last for the Spurs at the Alamodome, who despite leading the league in attendance two years in a row grew unhappy with its anticipated spacious feel wanting to return to the more traditional feel of an arena.
2002/03: After splitting their first two games on the road the Spurs christened the SBC Center in style on November 1st by beating the Toronto Raptors 91-72. The Spurs would not get off to a flying start as they had a 19-13 record heading into January, which had them 7 games out of first place in the Midwest Division. In January the Spurs began to gel and seemed prepped to make a run, when they were forced to embark on a nine-game road trip from January 25th to February 16th while the rodeo was in town. However, it would be hardly a bump in the road for the charging Spurs who won eight of the nine games and began to climb their way to first place. The Spurs would go on to erase their seven-game deficit and finish the season in a flat-footed tie with the Dallas Mavericks for the best record in the NBA. Thanks to a tiebreaker the Spurs would win their third straight Division title as Tim Duncan claimed his second straight NBA MVP. In the playoffs the top seeded Spurs got off to a shaky start as they dropped Game 1 of the first round to the Phoenix Suns in overtime 96-95 on a stunning three pointer by Stephon Marbury at the buzzer. The Spurs would recover to win the next 2, but watched a big lead slip away in Game 4 as the Suns evened the series 2-2. The Spurs would recover again and would win the next two games to set up a showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs would get the early jump on the three-time defending champions by winning the first two games at the SBC Center. However, as the series shifted to LA the Lakers held court and even the series at two games apiece. Facing a must win at home in Game 5 the Spurs built a big lead, but watched in horror as the Lakers chipped away. With time winding down the Spurs once 30-point lead was down to two points when Lakers clutch shooter Robert Horry was left wide open from three-point range. However, the shot would rim out and the Spurs held on to a 96-94 win. In Game 6 in LA the Spurs would put an end to the Lakers Championship run with an impressive 110-82 win that left no doubt who the team to beat was now. In a Lone Star showdown in the Western Conference Finals the Spurs would get off to a shaky start as the Dallas Mavericks took Game 1 at the SBC Center 113-110 from the free throw line. The Spurs would quickly recover, and would take the next 3 games including both games in Dallas to establish a 3-1 series lead. However, with a chance to close things out in Game 5 at home the Spurs were outscored 29-10 in the 4th Quarter as the Mavs forced a 6th game back in Dallas with a 103-91 win. However, in Dallas for Game 6 the Spurs would have a reversal of fortunes on their way to the NBA Finals as the outscored the Mavericks 34-9, thanks to a three point outburst from Steve Kerr in the 4th Quarter to overcome a 69-56 deficit and advance to the NBA Finals with a 90-78 win. Facing the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals the Spurs got off to a strong start winning Game 1 at home easily 101-89. Game 2 would be a defensive struggle as the Spurs late rally would fall short in a Nets 87-85 win. The Spurs would quickly rebound by taking Game 3 in New Jersey 84-79. After losing another defensive struggle 77-76 in Game 4 the Spurs regained control of the series with a solid 93-83 win. With a chance to close things out at home in Game 6 the Spurs found themselves in another defensive struggle as they entered the 4th Quarter trailing 63-56. However the Spurs would start the 4th Quarter with a 19-0 run and would never look back as Tim Duncan nearly recorded a quadruple double with 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and 8 blocked shots to lock up Finals MVP honors as the Spurs won their second NBA Championship with an 88-77 win. The Championship would serve as the perfect ending to David Robinson’s career as he sailed off after a solid 13-year Hall of Fame career.
2003/04: Coming off their second NBA Championship the Spurs playing with nine new players struggled early as they missed the presence of David Robinson while the new players struggled to fit in, as they held a 9-10 record on December 3rd. However, the Spurs would turn it around as they ended December on 13-game winning streak, as the Spurs quickly climbed back to the top of the NBA’s elite. The Spurs would battle all year for the top spot in the Western Conference, as they ended the season on another strong note winning their final 11 games. However, they would fall 1 game short of a division title and the best record in the West as they posted a record of 57-25. In the playoffs the Spurs remained hot as they swept the Memphis Grizzlies in four straight games. In the second round the Spurs found themselves in another showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs winning streak would continue as they captured the first two games at home brining their winning streak from the end of the regular season up to 17 games. However, as the series shifted to Los Angeles the Spurs would suddenly have trouble finding the basket as they lost both games as the Lakers evened the series. The series which was playing out as an exact duplicate of their match up a year earlier took a dramatic turn in Game 5 as the SBC Center as Tim Duncan seemingly delivered the Spurs a 73-72 win as he gave the Spurs a lead with a dramatic shot over Kobe Bryant with just 0.4 seconds remaining. However, the Lakers Derek Fisher would launch a prayer as time expired which would go in giving the Lakers a stunning 74-73 win to take a 3-2 series lead, as the Lakers went on to win the series in six games.
2004/05: After their disappointing second round collapse the Spurs looked to regain the NBA crow, and would get off to a quick start posting a 12-3 record in November. The Spurs would stay hot through December as they established a 25-6 record entering the New Year. The Spurs would, be near the top in the Western Conference all season battling the Phoenix Suns for the best record in the NBA. Just as it appeared the Spurs would cruise toward the playoffs their season suddenly hit a bump in the road when Tim Duncan went down in a March 20th loss to the Detroit Pistons with a sprained ankle. The rest of the way the Spurs would limp home winning nine of their last 17 as they held on to the Southwest Division by just one game with a 59-23 record. However, by the time the playoffs rolled around Duncan was ready to return. The Spurs playoff run would get off to a rocky start as they dropped Game 1 to the Denver Nuggets 93-87. The Spurs would quickly turn things around as they would road back to win the next four games to win the series in five, while Duncan got stronger as the series went on scoring 39 points in a key overtime win in Game 4. In the second round against the Seattle Supersonics the Spurs would get off to a fast start winning the first two games at home by double digits. With a shot to take a commanding 3-0 series lead, Tim Duncan missed a final shot at the buzzer as the Sonics held on for a 92-91 win. The Sonics would also win Game 4 to send the series back to San Antonio tied at two games apiece. In Game 5 faced with seeing another meltdown the Spurs looked toward Manu Ginobili who took over with a game high 39 points in leading the Spurs to a solid 103-90 win. The Spurs would go on to capture the series in six games win a 98-96 win in Seattle to close it out. In the Western Conference Finals, the Spurs would face the Phoenix Suns, and take control early, winning the first two games on the road. They would stay hot as the series came home winning Game 3 to take a 3-0 series lead. However, with a chance to close things out at home the Spurs saw the Suns hang on for a 111-106 win in Game 4. Back in Phoenix for Game 5 Tim Duncan would take over leading the Spurs in points with 31 and 15 rebounds as the Spurs won the West with a 101-95 win. In the NBA Finals the Spurs would face the defending Champion Detroit Pistons. The first two games in San Antonio were all Spurs as Manu Ginobili led the way with 26 and 27 points, in blow out wins by the Spurs. However, as the series shifted to Detroit the Spurs were the ones who were blowout losing Game 3 and Game 4 by big margins as the Pistons evened the series. Faced with a third straight loss in Detroit the Spurs would play much tougher in Game 5 which would become a classic as they game went into overtime. After not scoring in the first half Robert Horry was the hot hand in the second half and that would continue into overtime as he nailed a clutch three point shot with five second reaming to give the Spurs a dramatic 96-95 win. However, with a chance to close things out back at home in Game 6 the Spurs would lose 95-86 setting up the first NBA Finals Game 7 in 11 years. With the whole world watching Game 7 in San Antonio the game was a white knuckler as the game went back and forth and was tied 57-57 after three Quarters. In the 4th Quarter it would be Tim Duncan time as he had his best game of the series with 25 points as the Spurs pulled away late to win their third NBA Title in seven years with an 81-74 win in Game 7 as Duncan was once again named Finals MVP.
2005/06: Coming off their third NBA Championship there was a sense that the Spurs were the class of the NBA, and once again would be the team to beat in the NBA for the Championship. Not surprisingly the Spurs would come flying out of the gate winning 16 of their first 19 games. Once again, the Spurs would get challenged within their own division by the Dallas Mavericks as they held the two best records in the Western Conference all season, battling for first place. In the end the experience of the Spurs would be the difference as the won the Southwest Division Again with a new franchise best record of 63-19. In the playoffs the Spurs would get a surprisingly tough test from the Sacramento Kings in the first round as they need an overtime win in Game 2 to win the first two games at home, before losing the next two on the road. After regaining control of the series with a 109-98 win in Game 5 the Spurs won the series in six games as the won the finale 105-83 to set up another second round Lone Star Showdown with the Mavericks. Game 1 would set the tone of the series as it was tight all the way with Tim Duncan scoring a game high 31 points in an 87-85 win. However, in Game 2 the Spurs were rocked at home losing by 22 points. As the series shifted to Dallas, the Mavericks gained control winning two close nail bitters to take a 3-1 series lead. However, the Spurs would not go down without a fight as they rebounded to win a physical war in Game 5 by a score of 98-97, as former Maverick Michael Finley got hit with a low blow from Jason Terry in the final seconds. Terry who had killed the Spurs all series would be suspended for Game 6 and the Spurs took full advantage winning on the road 91-86 to force a 7th game home at the AT&T Center. In Game 7 Tim Duncan would lead the way for the Spurs with 41 points and 15 rebounds. However, he was matched by Dirk Nowitzki as the game went into overtime as the Spurs erased an early 20-point deficit. However, in overtime it was not meant to be as the Mavericks were on fire scoring 15 points to win the game 119-111.
2006/07: After their disappointing defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, the Spurs entered the season refreshed with renewed determination, as they felt fatigue played a large role as they failed to win a second straight NBA Title. The Spurs would get off to a strong start, but quickly found themselves in second place as the Mavericks went on an incredible winning streak. The Spurs would not catch the Mavs who would win the Midwest Division by nine games. However, with the NBA’s top ranked defense and a 58-24 record the Spurs entered the postseason in good shape. Focusing on the playoffs the Spurs rested their players in the final week and lost their final three games. When the bell rang for the second season, they were unable to answer it as they came out flat in a 95-87 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of their first round series. However, led by a strong 22-point performance from Tim Duncan in Game 2 the Spurs were able to even the series with a 97-88 win. Duncan continued to play strong as the series shifted to Denver with a double-double in both games three and four as the Spurs won both to take a 3-1 series edge. In Game 5 the Spurs championship experience proved key, as they put the Nuggets away with a 93-78 win. While the Spurs were bouncing the Nuggets in five games the Mavericks who had an NBA best 67-15 record in the regular were unraveling losing the Golden State Warriors in six games. The Mavericks upset loss, set the Spurs second round series against the Phoenix Suns as the key series in the entire NBA Playoffs, as some even called in the “real NBA Finals”. Game 1 would demonstrate just what a war the series would be as the Spurs and Suns battled in a tight game, with neither side giving in. In the final seconds the Spurs had a slim lead when Steve Nash going for a steal from Tony Parker, suffered a deep gash on his nose. Unable to stop the bleeding the Suns best player watched helplessly on from the bench as the Spurs took Game 1 on the road 111-106. After the Suns won Game 2 the series shifted to San Antonio where Spurs out physical the Suns 108-101, as the intensity continued to heat up. The intensity would boil over in Game 4 as the Suns outscored the Spurs 32-18 in the 4th Quarter to even the series with a 104-98 win. However, the series turned in favor of the Spurs in the closing minutes as Robert Horry slammed Steve Nash into the scorer’s table. The rough foul would warn Horry a tow game suspension, but occurring close to the Suns bench, two key players for Phoenix Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw left the bench area to check on their teammate who was still scuffling with Horry. Although they never got involved with the fight both were suspended for Game 5, as the series shifted back to Phoenix toed at two games apiece. The Suns despite missing two key players would get off to a fast start with a 24-13 lead after the first period. However, the lack of depth would catch up with them as the Spurs wore them down throughout the game out scoring the Suns 55-31 in the second half as they took a 3-2 series lead with an 88-85 win. In Game 6 the Spurs once again showed the ability to use the knockout punch as Tim Duncan barely missed a triple-double with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 9 blocked shots, while Manu Ginobilli led the way with 33 points in a 114-106 win to secure a trip to the Western Conference Finals. Those who said the second round series against the Suns, was the true NBA Finals would be proven right, as the Spurs easily dispatched the Utah Jazz in five games to reach the NBA Finals. The NBA Finals would be even easier as the Cleveland Cavaliers were woefully overmatched by the deeper Spurs. After winning the first two games easily in San Antonio the Spurs had to battle the crowd in Cleveland fired up for their first taste of the NBA’s biggest stage. However, the crowd was soon silenced as the Spurs defense put the clamps on the Cavs, while the Spurs struggled to score themselves resulting in the second lowest scoring game in Finals history. However, at the end it was Spurs again as they took a 3-0 series lead with a 75-72 win that seemed to put more fans asleep, and turn the discussion of the NBA Finals from the sports page to the Tabloid section, as more fans seemed interested in the upcoming marriage of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria then the mismatched NBA Finals. Game 4 would be more of the same as the Spurs dominated again taking a double-digit lead in the 3rd Quarter. The Cavs would battle back in the 4th Quarter, but the Spurs lead was never erased as the Spurs held on to an 83-82 win to complete the four-game sweep and win their fourth NBA Championship. The tabloid junkies would get an extra special treat as Tony Parker was named Finals MVP, who had a series best 24.5 ppg while shooting 56.8% from the field.
2007/08: Coming off their fourth championship the Spurs continued to be one of the elite teams in the NBA, as they got off to a strong start, winning 17 of their first 20 games. However, in the Western Conference they had plenty of company, as eight teams would win 50 or more games. One of these teams was the New Orleans Hornets who challenged the Spurs all season for first place in the Southwest Division. The Spurs would end up losing the division by a tiebreaker, as they posted a solid 56-26 record. Earning recognition as the best sixth man would be Manu Ginobili, who continued to make big plays in key games. In the playoffs the Spurs found a familiar foe in the first round, as they took on the Phoenix Suns. Game 1 would be a battle as the Suns and Spurs fought into overtime, down three points in the final seconds of Overtime it was Tim Duncan, who hit the unlikeliest shot of his career, nailing his first three point shot of the season to force a second overtime. In that second OT, it was Manu Ginobili who hit the big shot giving the Spurs a 117-115 with a layup with 1.8 seconds remaining. The Spurs would not need overtime in the next two games as Tony Parker burned the Suns with two big games to give the Spurs a 3-0 series lead. After an ugly 105-86 loss in Game 4, the Spurs would close the series out in five games as Tony Parker was the high man again, scoring 31 points in a 92-87 win. In the second round the Spurs would face the New Orleans Hornets for a trip to the Western Conference Final. Due to losing the tiebreaker the Spurs started the series on the road, and found themselves in an immediate hole losing the first two games 101-82 and 102-84. When the series shifted to San Antonio, the Spurs came alive, as Parker and Ginobili each scored 31 points in 110-99 win. In Game 4 it would be Tim Duncan who led the way as the Spurs evened the series with a 100-80 win, with Duncan scoring 22 points, with 15 rebounds. Despite 23 rebounds from Duncan in Game 5, the Spurs would struggle again, losing 101-79. The Spurs would continue to win at home, rebounding again with a 99-80 win in Game 6 to even the series. However, with Game 7 in New Orleans, the Spurs needed to reverse the trend of the home team winning ever game in the series. With Manu Ginobili scoring 26 points the Spurs would be able to do just that, as the Spurs championship experience rose to the occasion and won 91-82 to set up a meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers in the Conference Finals. Starting the series on the road again the Spurs found themselves in a hole losing 89-85 in Game 1, as the Spurs managed just 13 points in the fourth quarter. The Spurs would fall behind 0-2 after losing 101-71 in an ugly Game 2 performance. The Spurs would again rebound as the series shifted to San Antonio, winning 103-84 in Game 3, as Ginobili scored 30 points, with Duncan pulling down 21 boards. However, needing a win in Game 4 to even the series, the Spurs saw their home court winning streak come to an end, as they lost 93-91, despite 29 points and 17 rebounds from Tim Duncan. The Lakers would go on to reach the NBA Finals, as the eliminated the Spurs with a 100-92 win in Game 5.
2008/09: After falling in the Western Conference Finals, the Spurs entered the season hoping to continue their pattern of winning the NBA Title in odd numbered years. However, things did not look good early as they lost their first three games to start the season for the first time since joining the NBA. The Spurs would eventually begin to get things turned in the right direction as they ended November with a 9-7 record. In December the Spurs would find their grove winning 11 of 15 games. That would be followed up by 12 wins in 15 games during January as the Spurs again found themselves atop the Southwest Division. However, despite the wins there were reasons for concern as injuries limited Manu Ginobili to 44 games. Picking up the slack was Tony Parker who had a career high 22.0 ppg and 6.9 assists per game. The Spurs would go on to win the division title with a solid 54-28 record. In the playoffs the loss of Ginobili would be felt as the Spurs would suffer a fast knock out at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks who won their first round series in five games, marking the first time since 2000 that the Spurs went down in the opening round.
2009/10: With an eye toward re-tooling the Spurs landed Richard Jefferson in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto. Oberto would be sent to the Detroit Pistons for Amir Johnson, as Bowen decided to retire. The Spurs also made a good move on draft day, selecting DeJuan Blair form Pittsburgh in the second round with #37 overall pick, a pick many experts labeled a steal. As they started the season the Spurs struggled, losing six of their first ten games. As November came to an end, the Spurs began to play a better brand of basketball, winning five in a row. A three-game losing streak in December was a mere bump in the road as the Spurs had a strong overall month, as they entered the New Year with a record of 19-11. However, age an injury were the biggest stories in San Antonio, as Tim Duncan had his lowest scoring season at 17.9 ppg, while Tony Parker missed 26 games. Meanwhile, Richard Jefferson struggled to adjust to the Spurs system and had a disappointing season with a 12.3 ppg, the lowest total since his rookie season. The Spurs would never be in danger of missing the playoffs, but at 50-32 they held the seventh seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Facing the Dallas Mavericks in a playoff rematch the Spurs looked to redeem an otherwise lackluster season. After losing the opener in Dallas 100-94, the Spurs used a big game by Tim Duncan on the boards to even the series with a 102-88 win as Duncan had had 25 points and 17 rebounds. In Game 3 at AT&T Center, Manu Ginobli suffered a broken nose from an elbow from Dirk Nowitzki, but later returned and helped the Spurs take control of the series with a 94-90. In Game 4 it was George Hill providing the big shot for the Spurs nailing a three pointer late as part of a game high 29 points to give the Spurs a 92-89 win and a 3-1 series lead. After a 103-81 loss in Game 5, the Spurs completed the upset with a 97-87 home win in Game 6, as Manu Ginobili and George Hill both toped 20 points in a 97-87 win. In the second round the Spurs faced another familiar foe in the Phoenix Suns, but were unable to carry the momentum from their upset of the Mavs as they lost the first two games on the road. Needing to win in San Antonio to keep their hopes alive, the Spurs had a big effort in the 1st Quarter taking an early 28-19 lead. However, the Suns began clawing their way back in the game and scorched the Spurs for 39 points in the 4th Quarter to record a 110-96 win to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. The Suns would go on to complete the sweep with a 107-101 win in Game 4.
2010/11: After their second round exit the Spurs looked to get back into the elite of the NBA, as they began the season with a 122-109 win over the Indiana Pacers, as Tim Duncan scored 23 points with 12 boards. After a home loss to the New Orleans Hornets in their second game, the Spurs became the hottest team in the NBA, with 11 straight wins, as they posted a record of 14-1 in November. The Spurs continued to dominate the NBA in December, winning 13 of 15 games, highlighted by a ten-game winning streak as they held a 28-4 record entering the New Year. The Spurs continued to look like a champion in January, as they won 12 of 15 games. The Spurs success came despite career low numbers from Tim Duncan, who failed to average a double-double for the first time in his career, as he only averaged 13.4 ppg. The Spurs instead had a balanced attack with six different players averaging 9.8 or more points per game, led by Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. One player who provided a big spark off the bench was 27-year-old rookie Gary Neal, who after five years of playing in Europe had a solid first year in the NBA averaging 9.8 ppg as the Spurs threat from downtown. The Spurs continued to roll through February as they went on their annual rodeo road trip, posting a 9-3 mark as they held an NBA best 49-10 record heading into the final six weeks of the season. In March, the effects of a long season began to take its toll on the Spurs as their 20-game home winning streak at the AT&T Center came to an end with a 99-83 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on March 5th. The Spurs would suffer a six-game losing streak, while Manu Ginobili rested an injured elbow as they lost their grip on the best record in the NBA. The Spurs would still hold the best record in the West as they closed the year with a record of 61-21. In the playoffs the Spurs got off to a bad start, as they were stunned in Game 1 by the Memphis Grizzlies 101-98 on Shane Battier’s three point shot with 23.9 seconds left in the game. The Spurs got a big game from Ginobili who was playing with a bulky elbow brace in Game 2, as he led all scorers with 17 points to lead the Spurs to a 93-87 win to even the series. However, as the series shifted to Memphis the Spurs could not handle the more athletic Grizzlies, losing both Game 3 and Game 4 to fall behind 3-1 in the series. The Spurs would get a big three point shot at the buzzer from Gary Neal to force overtime, as they kept their hopes alive with a 110-103 win. However, it would only be a temporary stay of execution as the Grizzlies became the fourth eight seed to beat a top seed with a 99-91 win in Game 6 in Memphis.
2011/12: After their stunning first round loss, the Spurs looked to get younger and more athletic as they sent George Hill to the Indiana Pacers, for three draft picks. Most notably the 15th pick which they used on Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State. One concern for the Spurs as the season began on Christmas after a two-month lockout was the compacted 66 game schedule that included games on three straight days and fewer off days. For an older team like the Spurs, they would have to pace themselves to avoid running out of gas in the playoffs. The Spurs started strong winning six of their first eight games, as they had a lot of early games at the AT&T Center in anticipation of their annual rodeo road trip. After a mediocre January, the Spurs caught fire winning 11 straight games, with a bulk of the games on the road. With Tim Duncan no longer the star player he once was, the Spurs became a more balanced team, as Tony Parker became the team’s MVP leading the Spurs in scoring 18.3 ppg and assists with 7.7 per game. Duncan also had a solid season, scoring 15.4 ppg, with nine boards per game, as the Spurs had ten players score 8.9 ppg or better. One of the reasons for such balance in San Antonio, was the masterful coaching of Gregg Popovich, who would rotate players in and out and give his veterans off days to make sure they remained fresh for the entire season. The strategy paid off as they Spurs were the best team in the NBA in the second half, posting another 11-game winning streak that began in March and ended in April. After two straight losses to the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers, the Spurs picked up again, ending the season with a ten game winning streak as they finished with the best record in the Western Conference with a record of 50-16, as Popovich was named Coach of the Year.
2012 Playoffs: Entering the playoffs on a ten game winning streak, the Spurs looked to avoid the first round letdown for the second straight season as the jumped out early and crushed the Utah Jazz 106-91 in their playoff opener as Tony Parker scored 28 points with eight assists. Game 2 would be another blowout as the Spurs used ten three pointers to smoke the Jazz 104-83. The Spurs continued to cruise as the series shifted to Utah, winning 102-90. They would go on to complete the sweep with an 87-81 win in Game 4. With their winning streak now at 14 the Spurs again looked to get off to a fast start, as they crushed the Los Angeles Clippers 108-92 in Game 1, behind Tim Duncan who scored a game high 26 points. After a solid 105-88 win in Game 2, the Spurs streak looked to be in danger as they trailed the Clippers 40-16 in the second quarter at Staples Center. However, the Spurs began to claw their way back in the game, cutting the deficit to seven points at halftime. Down by 12 points in the third quarter the Spurs went on a blistering 24-0 run to take the lead, as they took a 3-0 series lead with a 96-86 win. The Spurs would go on to complete the sweep with a 102-99 win in Game 4. With the win the Spurs became just the fourth team to go 8-0 through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Facing the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, the Spurs overcame a nine-point deficit to win the opener, 101-98 as Manu Ginobili led the way with 26 points. Game 2 would be the Tony Parker show, as the Spurs All-Star Guard scored 34 points as the Spurs won 120-111. However, the Spurs 20 game winning streak would come to an end with a 102-82 loss in Game 3 as the series moved to OKC. Kevin Durant would be too much for the Spurs to handle in Game 4 as the Thunder evened the series with a 109-103 win. As the series returned to the AT&T Center, the Thunder continued to frustrate the Spurs, building a 13-point lead thanks to a James Harden four-point play in the fourth quarter. The Spurs would not quit, going on an 11-0 run to get the game within two points with less than a minute left. However, Harden hit the Spurs with another three-point dagger giving OKC control of the series with a 108-103 victory. The Thunder would go on to win the series in six games, as they won the clincher 107-99.
2012/13: Coming off their trip to the Western Conference Finals, the Spurs had an early chance to for revenge as they faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in their home opener, one night after edging the New Orleans Hornets 99-95 to begin the season. The Spurs would win seven of their first eight games as they went into an early showdown with the Miami Heat with a record of 13-3. The Thursday Night Game was heavily promoted by TNT, but came at the end of a long six game road trip. Knowing that the key for the veteran Spurs success was staying fresh the entire season, Coach Gregg Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green ahead to San Antonio giving them the night off. The Spurs reserves put up a valiant effort, losing the game 105-100. The NBA was not as pleased, and fined the Spurs $250,000. However, it was clear that it was the right move for the Spurs as they won their next five games and went into the New Year in first place with a record of 25-8. The Spurs were especially strong at AT&T Center, winning 18 straight home games from November 19th through February 27th. The end of the streak coincided with the end of the Spurs annual rodeo road trip, in which the Spurs posted a 7-2 record, during the often-bitter month of February. The Spurs would enjoy most of March at home, as they clinched their 16th straight playoff appearance and secured a 50-win season. Focusing on the postseason, the Spurs rested players in the final month as they dropped seven of their final ten games and finished second overall in the Western Conference with a record of 58-24.
2013 Playoffs: In the first round of the playoffs the Spurs were matched up against the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the series lost all juice before it even began as Kobe Bryant suffered a season ending injury at the end of the regular season. Without Kobe, the Lakers were no match for the Spurs, who took the series in four straight games. All four games were decided by double digits, including a 120-89 win in Game 3 and a 103-82 win in Game 4 at Staples Center. The Spurs would learn right away that things would be much tougher in the second round against the Golden State Warriors, as they needed two overtimes to win Game 1 at home 129-127, as Manu Ginobili’s three pointer with 1.2 seconds left in the second OT was the difference. The Warriors would bounce back to win 100-91 in Game 2, ending a 16-year losing streak in San Antonio. However, the Spurs blunted the Warriors momentum, with a 32-point first quarter as the series shifted to Oakland for Game 3. With Tony Parker scoring 32 points, the Spurs would retake control of the series with a 102-92 win. However, the Warriors would not go away easily, winning Game 4 in overtime 97-87. Parker came up big again in Game 5, with 25 points and 10 assists as the Spurs regained control with a 109-91 win at AT&T Center. The Spurs would go on to win the series in six games, winning the finale in Oakland 94-82. The Spurs would go on to face the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals. Two earlier the Grizzlies were the eighth seed and upset the Spurs who had the best record in the Western Conference. The Spurs set out right away to make sure that did not happen again, outscoring the Grizzlies 31-14 in first quarter of Game 1, as they won the opener 105-83. The Spurs jumped out early again in Game 2, but a fourth quarter shooting drought had them in overtime tied 85-85. In overtime the Spurs defense would tighten up and shutdown the Grizzlies, as the Spurs took a 2-0 series lead by winning 93-89. Game 3 would also go to overtime as the series shifted to Memphis. This time it was the Spurs offense that led the way outscoring the Grizzlies 18-7, as the Spurs took a 3-0 series lead, winning the game 104-93. The Spurs would go on to complete the sweep with a 93-86 win.
2013 NBA Finals: Seeking their fifth NBA Championship the San Antonio Spurs faced the defending champion Miami Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals. Game 1 in Miami was tight throughout, as the game was tied 88-88 in the final seconds when Tony Parker hit a bank shot with 5.2 seconds left to give the Spurs the lead. The Spurs would add to foul shots and win the game 92-88. After suffering a 103-84 loss in Game 2, the series shifted to San Antonio where the home crowd helped the Spurs hand Miami their worst postseason loss in franchise history, 113-77. During the game the Spurs made an NBA Finals record 16 shots from three-point range, led by Gary Neal who had a career game with 24 points, making six shots from downtown. With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all having a big night, the Heat bounced back to even the series with a 109-93 win in Game 4. With the final two games in Miami, Game 5 was a must win for the San Antonio Spurs. Turning to their old pros the Spurs got the all-important 3-2 series lead with 114-104 win, as Manu Ginobili, making his first start of the season, had a strong performance with 24 points and 10 assists, while Tim Duncan also contributed with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and provided strong defensive support. With Tim Duncan having a big game, the Spurs held a 75-65 lead entering the fourth quarter. However, LeBron James caught fire as the final 12 minutes began scoring 11 points as the Heat took the lead with a 20-7 run. The Spurs would settle things down and retake the lead with an 8-0 run, as LeBron James made two crucial turnovers. However, with 28 seconds left Manu Ginobili missed one of two free throws keeping the door slight open for the Heat as the Spurs held a 94-89 lead. All signs pointed to the Spurs winning the NBA Championship as the Trophy was taken out on to the court, while the championship hats and shirts were near the Spurs bench ready to be worn. However, Gregg Popovich made a tactical error deciding to go with a small lineup as the Heat tried to make three-point shots to stay in the game. This allowed, LeBron James two tries from the top of the arch which he would make on the second attempt after an offensive rebound to cut the Spurs lead to two points. Kawhi Leonard would have a chance to ice it from the free throw line. However, he missed one of his two free throw attempts keeping the Heat one shot away from tying the game. Once again, the Spurs went with a smaller lineup giving up another offensive rebound, which allowed Ray Allen to hit a three-point shot with five seconds left to tie the game. With no timeouts, the Spurs tried to rush the ball down the floor, but Tony Parker’s prayer went unanswered as the game went to overtime. In overtime the Heat would renew life would outscore the Spurs 10-5 to win the game 105-100 to send the series to a seventh game. The Spurs would put up a solid effort in Game 7 as Tim Duncan scored 24 points, while Kawhi Leonard had 16 boards. However, it was not enough as LeBron James set a Game 7 record with 37 points to lead the Heat to a 95-88 win, as Duncan missed a chance to tie the game with 50 seconds left after the Spurs pulled within two points.
2013/14: Following their heart-breaking loss in the NBA Finals the Spurs began the season like a house on fire, winning 13 of their first 14 games, as they had largely the same roster as the year before. Opening the season with a 101-94 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, the Spurs only loss in their first 14 games was the second of back-to-back against the Portland Trail Blazers on the road. Holding a 15-3 record on December 5th, a proposed game in Mexico City against the Minnesota Timberwolves is postponed due to the poor air quality in the arena. The postponement was the only bump in the road in the first two months for the Spurs, as they went into the New Year with a record of 25-7. January would prove to be the dog days for San Antonio, as they posted a mediocre record of 8-6, and suffered their first losing streak, dropping three straight games to end the month. The losing streak included a 113-101 loss on the road to the Miami Heat in a Finals rematch on January 26th. The Spurs would bounce back, in February, as they posted a record of 9-3. As the month came to an end the Spurs began the longest winning streak in franchise history of 19 games. The streak began with a 120-110 win over the Detroit Pistons on February 26th and carried through March into April, ending with a 104-96 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road on April 3rd. The Thunder held a perfect 16-0 record in March, including a 111-87 win over the Heat at the AT&T Center on March 6th. The winning streak helped the Spurs clinch the best record in the NBA, getting home court for the entire NBA postseason. The Spurs resting for the playoffs would endure just their second losing streak as they lost their final two games to finish with a record of 62-20. Once again, the Spurs were a deep balanced team, which had nine players average 8.2 ppg or more. Leading the way was Tony Parker, who averaged 16.7 ppg, while Tim Duncan at the age of 37 continued to be reliable with 15.1 ppg. Among the Spurs top scorers was Kawhi Leonard who in his third NBA season continued to show steady improvement, with 12.8 ppg, with 6.2 rebounds per game. Duncan was the Spurs leading rebounder, averaging 9.7 boards per game, while Parker led the team 5.7 assists per game. For his masterful way of balancing the Spurs, and winning 62 games Gregg Popovich was named Coach of the Year for the third time.
2014 Playoffs: The Spurs began the postseason with a match up against the Dallas Mavericks who they swept in the regular season. However, right away the Mavericks showed they were not going to go down without a fight as the Spurs won a nail biter in Game 1 by a score of 90-85, with Tim Duncan leading the way with 27 points. The Mavericks would rebound to win the next two games, as the Spurs faced a crisis point in Game 4, needing a win to avoid falling behind three games to one. Overcoming an early ten-point hole, the Spurs would win the game 93-89 as Manu Ginobili was the key player, scoring 23 points, with five assists, as former Spur DeJuan Blair was suspended after kicking Tiago Splitter in the head. With double doubles from Tiago Splitter (17 points and 12 rebounds) and Tim Duncan (16 points and 12 assists) the Spurs regained control of the series, with a 109-103 win in Game 5. However, the pesky Mavericks rallied to win Game 6 behind a 37-point fourth quarter 113-111 to send the series to a seventh game. The Spurs would quickly take control with a 35-point first quarter to win the game 119-96. Moving on to the second round, the Spurs quickly took control, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 116-92, as Tony Parker led the way with 33 points. Unlike the first round series, the Spurs controlled the second round from the start, winning the first three games by 15 points or more. The Blazers would respond with a 103-92 win in Game 4 to hold off a sweep, but the Spurs easily advanced to the Western Conference Finals in five games, winning the finale 104-92, as Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard each posted 22 points to lead the way. All season long the Western Conference was a battle of the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder; those teams would indeed meet in the Conference Finals. Game 1 was all Spurs, as Tim Duncan led the way with 27 points in a 122-105 win. Game 2 would see the Spurs defense smother the Thunder, to take a 2-0 series leading with a dominant 112-77 win at AT&T Center. As the series shifted to OKC, the Thunder struck back winning the next two games to even the series, as the Spurs had no answers for Russell Westbrook who had two big games to lead the Thunder to wins of 106-97 and 105-92. Returning home, the Spurs got a big night from Tim Duncan, who scored 22 points, with 12 boards to lead the way in a 117-89 victory to put San Antonio one win away from a return to the NBA Finals. Despite losing Tony Parker to an ankle injury, the Spurs would close the series out with a 112-107 overtime win in Game 6, as Tim Duncan dominated the game with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
2014 NBA Finals: For the second straight season the San Antonio Spurs would meet the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, this time the Spurs would have the home court edge. With the air conditioning in the AT&T Center failing, the arena was an uncomfortable 90 degrees. Ironically it would be Miami who could not withstand the Heat, as LeBron James struggled with cramps and dehydration as the Spurs won the opener 110-95, making 14 of 16 shots in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. In the game the Spurs got double-doubles from Tim Duncan who had 21 points with 10 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili who had 16 points and 11 assists. The Heat rebounded to win Game 2 by a score of 98-96, as the Spurs created their own problems down the stretch, with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan combining to miss four straight free throws late in the game. As the series shifted to Miami, Kawhi Leonard introduced himself to America, dominating Game 3 with 29 points as the Spurs regained control of the series with a 111-92 win. Leonard would again dominate Game 4 with 20 points and 14 rebounds as the Spurs took a stranglehold of the series with a 107-86 win. Under the new NBA Finals format the series would return to San Antonio for Game 5, the Spurs would not be denied their revenge, cruising to a 104-87 win for their fifth NBA Championship. In the clincher Kawhi Leonard had another big game scoring 22 point with ten rebounds, to become the youngest player to be name NBA Finals MVP at the age of 22.
2014/15: After winning their fifth NBA Championship, fans wondered what the San Antonio Spurs would do for an encore. Before the season began the Spurs made history, hiring Becky Hammond to serve as an assistant coach. It was the first time one of the four major leagues hired a female coach. Opening the season with a 101-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks at AT&T Center, the Spurs played well early, posting a 15-5 record over their first 20 games. The Spurs seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by the holiday spirit in December, as they went into the New Year struggling at 5-9 over a 14-game stretch. Suffering a four-game losing streak. The Spurs would play better in January, but when the rodeo rode into town in February, the Spurs hit another dry spell. Losing another four straights as they post a 4-5 during a nine-game stretch away from AT&T Center. As the season came to an end the Spurs again began to take a championship form as they slowly climbed the Western Conference standings, making it as high as the second seed with an 11-game winning streak. The Spurs though would settle for sixth overall in the West, as they ended the regular season with a 108-103 loss on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Spurs finished the season with a record of 55-27, just one game back of the Houston Rockets for first place in the Southwest Division and second overall in the tightly stacked Western Conference. Once again, Gregg Popovich was a master at dividing minutes and rest for his veteran team, as eight players scored at least 8.2 points per game. After winning the NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard continued to develop into the last Spurs superstar, leading the team with 16.5 points per game, while being name the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year.
2015 Playoffs: The Spurs end of the season loss meant they would have to begin the playoffs on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers. After losing the opener 107-92, the Spurs in danger of falling 0-2, need overtime to even the series, winning 111-107. Just three days from his 39th birthday, Tim Duncan led the way scoring 28 points 28 points with 11 rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard added 23 points with nine boards. Leonard was on top of his game as the series shifted to San Antonio, scoring a game high 32 points, while receiving his Defensive Player of the Year Award, as the Spurs won going away 100-73. The Clippers would answer back and evened the series with a 114-105 win in Game 4. Back in L.A. the Clippers and Spurs battled down to the wire in Game 5. Leading 108-107 the Spurs held off a late charge from the Clippers as a potential go ahead basket from DeAndre Jordan was wiped out by a call of basket inference. The Spurs would win the game 111-107 and had a chance to advance with a home win in Game 6. Back at the AT&T Center, Game 6 was tight throughout as the game was tied at the end of the first and second quarter. The Clippers moved ahead in the third quarter and held on for a 102-96 win, despite two late three-point bombs from Marco Bellineli. Game 7 at the Staples Center would be an instant classic as the Spurs and Clippers trade blows like a classic heavyweight title fight. The game would feature 31 lead changes and 19 ties as the game went into the final seconds tied with neither team holding a bigger lead than eight points. In the end the ball would be in the hands of Chris Paul who made a jumper over Danny Green and Tim Duncan to send the Clippers on to the second round with a 111-109 victory in one of the best seventh games in the history of the NBA Playoffs.
2015/16: After their first-round exit, the San Antonio Spurs looked to return to the NBA Finals by adding another All-Star as they signed LaMarcus Aldridge to a four-year deal worth $80 million. They also signed David West to a two-year deal worth $30 million. Despite a solid game from Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs stumbled in their home opener losing a road game to the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-106. The Spurs would fare better in their home opener, beating the Brooklyn Nets 102-75. The Spurs were strong at home from the start of the season, as they were a perfect 8-0 at AT&T Center in November. The Spurs remained perfect at home, in December winning all ten games in San Antonio. They were also solid on the road, as they held an overall record of 28-6 heading into the New Year. As January began the Spurs were playing their best basketball, winning 13 straight games heading into a clash with the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs would face the Warriors for the first time holding a record of 38-6, that in most years would have been by far the best record in the NBA, but the defending champion Warriors went into the game holding a record of 40-4. The Warriors would end up making the game a laugher as they beat the Spurs 120-90 in Oakland. The Spurs meanwhile remained unbeaten at home, ending January with a record of 39-8. The Spurs spent most of February on the road, as they went on their annual rodeo road trip, winning 11 of 12 games. Returning home in March the Spurs continued their home winning streak, but like their overall record it was overshadowed by the Warriors who were setting a record with 54 straight home wins. The Warriors would suffer two home losses in April, but won both meetings with the Spurs in a four-day stretch, including a 92-86 win at AT&T Center, handing the Spurs their first and only loss at home during the regular season. The Spurs 40-1 record at home would match the 1985/86 Boston Celtics as the best single season home record. The Spurs would also finish the season with a franchise best 67-15 record, that in most season would have garnered more attention, but the Warriors 73 wins once again overshadowed the Spurs success. Leading the way for the Spurs was Kawhi Leonard who was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year for a second straight season, while being named an All-Star for the first time and leading the team in scoring with 21.2 points per game. LaMarcus Aldridge meanwhile had a solid first season in San Antonio with 18.0 ppg and a team best 8.5 rebounds per game.
2016 NBA Playoffs: As the playoffs began, fans were salivating for a showdown between the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. However, before getting to Oakland the Spurs needed to get through the first two rounds. In the opening round, the Spurs would face the Memphis Grizzlies who entered the series missing some of their top players due to injury. It was easy to see the Grizzlies were overmatched as the Spurs won the opener 106-74. The Spurs would go on to sweep the series as all, but Game 3 was decided 20 points. The Spurs used defense to take Game 2 by a score of 94-68, while the Grizzlies stayed close in Game 3 only losing 96-87 as the series shifted to Memphis. The Spurs would complete the sweep with a 116-95 win. Next up for the Spurs was the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs continued to roll in the opener, winning 124-92 as LaMarcus Aldridge had a dominant game with 38 points. The Thunder would answer back in Game 2, stunning the Spurs 98-97 in a game that featured the craziest final 13 seconds in the history of the NBA playoffs. OKC’s Dion Waiters got away with elbowing Manu Ginobili on the inbound. However, after catching the inbound, Durant was stripped Danny Green, who passed it off to Patty Mills who missed an open three, while LaMarcus Aldridge lost the ball on a rebound attempt leading to a final scramble as time ran out, allowing the Thunder to hang on to the win. The Spurs would bounce back to win Game 3 in Oklahoma City 100-96 as Kawhi Leonard had a big night with 31 points and 11 boards. The Thunder would answer back to win Game 4 by a score of 111-97. Back at AT&T Center the Spurs looked to regain control of the series but struggled down the stretch as the Thunder won a second game in San Antonio 95-91. The Spurs would end up stumbling again in Game 6 as the Thunder won 113-99 to advance to the Western Conference Finals and spoil the Spurs 67-win season. A few months after the season ended Tim Duncan would announce his retirement, ending a 19-year career that saw him brining five titles to San Antonio.
2016/17: The San Antonio Spurs looked to regain their spot at the top of the Western Conference, despite losing their centerpiece as Tim Duncan retired after 19 seasons. With many of their other stars aging, the Spurs had a sense that they needed to win another title soon before their window of opportunity closed. The Spurs made a statement on opening night, crushing the Golden State Warriors 129-100 in Oakland. Winning their first four games, and posting a nine-game winning streak in November the Spurs again were among the best teams in the NBA at 15-4 at end of November. After holding a 27-6 record at the end of December, the Spurs had their bumps in the road in the New Year as they lost five games in January which left them chasing Golden State for the top spot in the West. The Spurs thrived in their annual rodeo road trip, winning six of eight in February. The Spurs would spend the entire season chasing the Warriors for the best record in the NBA, getting as close as one game. However, the Warriors had a strong surge at the end of the year, while the Spurs just kept the same pace all season, finishing 61-21 as they spent April resting players for the upcoming playoff gauntlet. Leading the way for the Spurs was Kawhi Leonard who had a career best 25.5 ppg.
2017 Playoffs: The San Antonio Spurs began the playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies, easily winning the opener 111-82 as Kawhi Leonard had a game-high 32. Leonard had 37 points in Game 2, with 11 rebounds as the Spurs again had an easy 96-82 win. As the series shifted to Memphis, the Grizzlies fought back winning 105-94 in Game 3. In Game 4 Kawhi Leonard netted 43 points, but it was not enough as the Grizzlies won in overtime 110-108 to square the series at two games apiece. The Spurs would get back on track with a 116-103 win at home in Game 5, winning the series in six games as they beat Memphis 103-96 in the finale. The Spurs moved on to a Texas-sized showdown with the Houston Rockets. In the opener the Rockets at the AT&T Center the Rockets jumped out to a big lead early and never looked back, winning 126-99. Game 2 saw the Spurs pull away late, outscoring Houston 33-13 in the fourth quarter to even the series with a 121-96. However, it came with a heavy toll as Tony Parker suffered a season ending injury. In Houston for Game 3, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 26 points as the Spurs won 103-92 to take the series in lead. The Rockets would even the series with a 125-104 win in Game 4. Back in San Antonio, the two teams battled into overtime in Game 5 with the Spurs winning 110-107 as Manu Ginobili blacked James Harden’s game tying three-point try at the buzzer. The Spurs would finish off the Rockets in Game 6, winning 114-75 as Aldridge led the way with 34 points and 12 boards. The Spurs came into the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors looking of make a message and jumped out to a 25-point lead in the first half at the Oracle Arena. However, Kawhi Leonard suffered an ankle injury as the Warriors rallied to win the opener 113-111. Without Leonard, the Spurs were steamrolled in Game 2, losing 136-100. The Warriors would go on to sweep the series, winning the next two in San Antonio 120-108 and 129-115. Golden State would go on to win the NBA Championship with a 16-1 postseason record.
2017/18: After 20-straight playoff appearances, the San Antonio Spurs were nearing the end of an era as Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili were each in their final year with the club. Hoping to add some strength in the frontcourt, the Spurs inked Rudy Gay to a two-year deal worth $17 million. When the season began, the Spurs found themselves a man down, as Kawhi Leonard missed the first 27 games with a strained quadricep. Without Leonard, the Spurs would not miss a beat, as they won their first four games, and held a 19-8 record when he made his season debut on December 9th. A significant factor in the Spurs’ strong start was LaMarcus Aldrudge, who has his best season since coming down to San Antonio, averaging a team-best 23.1 points per game. Kawhi Leonard, though, remained hobbled and played in just nine games before going back on the shelf. While he nursed his strained quad, his relationship with coach Gregg Popovich became strained over his injury status as the team felt that Leonard was milking the injury for a new contract. This led to Kawhi Leonard shutting it down for the season and ending his Spurs’ career. Without Leonard, players like Dejounte Murray emerged. Murray would be among the top defensive players in the NBA with 5.7 boards per game. The loss of Leonard would catch up to San Antonio in February as they went to a six-week stretch where they won just three games and found themselves endanger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997. The Spurs though, had too many winners on their team and won six-straight games in March, which helped them secure the seventh seed in the Western Conference at 47-35.
2018 Playoffs: In the postseason, the San Antonio Spurs found a tough draw in the first round, as they faced the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Despite a strong performance from LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs wee dominated by the Warriors in the first two games in Oakland, losing 113-92 in Game 1 and 116-101 in Game 2. Things did not improve much as the series shifted to San Antonio, as the Warriors who at one time could never win in the AT&T Center continued to roll with a 110-97 win in Game 3. The Spurs would have too much pride to be swept and salvaged a 103-90 win in Game 4. However, Golden State was destined for a third championship in four years, and a less than whole Spurs team was not going to stand in the way, as Golden State closed the series out in five games with a 99-91 win.
2018/19: The glory days were fading away for the San Antonio Spurs, as Manu Ginobili retired, and Tony Parker left to play with the Charlotte Hornets. The Spurs would also part ways with Kawhi Leonard, trading the 2014 playoff hero to the Toronto Raptors along with Danny Green. In return, San Antonio received DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poltl, and a protected first-round draft pick. The Spurs had their struggles early in the season as they lost ten games in November and sat at 10-12 as December began. As DeMar DeRozan started to get comfortable with the Gregg Popovich system, the Spurs fortunes improved as they won seven-of-eight and went into the New Year on an upswing at 21-17. The Spurs continued to play well in December, as LaMarcus Aldridge and DeRozan formed an excellent duo at the team’s core. Aldridge again led the Spurs in scoring with 21.3 ppg, while DeRozan was just behind with 21.2 ppg. DeMar DeRozan, who came to San Antonio angry about the deal, also had career highs in rebounding and assists with 6.0 boards and 6.2 dimes per game. After surviving the annual rodeo road trip, the Spurs again did everything they needed to keep their postseason streak alive, winning ten games in March, as they finished 48-34 to again take the seventh spot in the West.
2019 Playoffs: Facing the Denver Nuggets, the San Antonio Spurs showed just how dangerous they could be by stealing Game 1 on the road 101-96 as DeMar DeRozan had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the way. DeRozan scored 31 in Game 2, but the Nuggets rebounded to even the series with a 114-105 win. At the AT&T Center, it was the Derrick White show in Game 3, as the Spurs rising star had 36 in a 118-108 win. Denver would bounce back to take the next two games, 117-103 and 108-90. However, the Spurs pushed the series to a seventh game, as LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points with ten rebounds to lead San Antonio to a 120-103 win in Game 6. Game 7 would be a defensive battle, with the Spurs nearly pulling out a late rally before time ran out with the Nuggets holding a 90-86 win to advance to the second round.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on January 7, 2003. Last updated on March 4, 2020 at 10:50 pm ET.