20th win in a row for Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs took a big step in the battle for supremacy in the world’s leading basketball league when they won their 20th consecutive game in NBA on Tuesday.
Tony Parker scored 34 points and the San Antonio Spurs stretched their win streak to 20 games on Tuesday, defeating Oklahoma City 120-111 to seize command of their NBA playoff series.
The Spurs took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference final and moved halfway toward booking a place against the Eastern Conference winner, either the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics, in next month's NBA Finals.
Oklahoma City will host games three and four against the Spurs on Thursday and Saturday. In NBA history, teams that fall behind 2-0 in a best-of-seven series have recovered to advance less than six percent of the time.
The Spurs, who last lost 48 days ago on April 11 at home to the Los Angeles Lakers, won their final 10 regular-season games and have won their first 10 playoff games.
"It's a good run but we're only worried about getting these next two in a row," Spurs star Tim Duncan said. "That would be 22 wins. That would be great."
San Antonio's streak has broken the NBA record for a combined win streak in playoff and regular-season games, beating the old combined mark of 19 wins in a row by the 2001 Lakers.
French guard Parker hit 16 of 21 shots and contributed eight assists for the Spurs, who have lost only twice in their past 33 games.
"Tony has been great all year," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He was excellent. He played a fantastic game in a lot of ways."
Argentine playmaker Manu Ginobili scored 20 points and Kawhi Leonard added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who also had 11 points and 12 rebounds from Duncan as they challenge for a fifth NBA crown in 14 seasons.
Kevin Durant scored 31 points to lead the Thunder while James Harden added 30 and Russell Westbrook contributed 27 in a losing cause.
"If we play hard and play well, we are able to beat this team," Thunder veteran Derek Fisher said. "We have to continue to be physical on the defensive end. We're doing a great job at times but it can't just be 'at times'.
"We've put ourselves in this position where we have to go home and win game three and get back in this series."