With their win last night to sweep the L.A. Clippers 4-0 in a second-round NBA playoff series, the San Antonio Spurs now have a combined regular-season/playoff 18-game winning streak. The Spurs won their final 10 games of the regular season and then swept Utah in four in the first round of the playoffs.
San Antonio's hot streak goes back even further. Sitting at 26-13 after play on March 9, the Spurs closed the regular season on a 24-3 run to finish the abbreviated 66-game NBA season with a 50-16 record. Adding in the eight playoff games, San Antonio is now 32-3 in its last 35 games.
The Spurs' roster has an aging core, led by 36-year-old Tim Duncan and 34-year-old Manu Ginobili. Perhaps the shortening of the NBA season from the usual 82 games to 66, due to the owners' lockout, has helped conserve the energy of the Spurs' players. A year ago, the silver and black appeared to hit the wall after compiling a 57-13 record through 70 games. The Spurs went 4-8 in the remainder of the regular season (including a six-game losing streak) to finish at 61-21, and then exited in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies.