San Antonio

Spurs Can Still Catch Wolves

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

The Spurs extended their league-best winning streak to ten games with a 78-66victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. They are now just one game behind division leading Minnesota for both the Midwest division title and the number one seed in the Western Conference.

The second-best team in the Midwest division will also be the second-best team in the Western Conference but will hold the third seed and will play the worse of Dallas or Memphis. The number one seed will play Denver. In other words, if the Spurs win and the Wolves lose tomorrow, the Spurs will topple the Wolves from the top of the hill.

Therefore, the season-ending game tomorrow against the Nuggets could well be a preview of the playoffs. Ironically enough, the Spurs could ensure they meet these young upstarts in the playoffs by beating them tomorrow. If the Spurs lose to the Nuggets, then Denver will face the Wolves in the playoffs.

Head coach Gregg Popovich doesn't expect it to happen. "I guess it’s mathematically possible (for the Spurs to get the number on seed)," he said, "but I wouldn’t expect Minnesota, they’ve been through a lot over the last five, six, seven years, and they want to get some place this year, so they’re going to go into Memphis and they’ll take care of business.”

We have long known that San Antonio likes to start its seasons slow and end its seasons strong, and what better evidence than the fact that they are riding a ten-game winning streak into their final regular season game with a chance to get the number one seed and a Midwest division title?

The Spurs host the ecstatic Denver Nuggets tomorrow in the season finale for both teams. These teams first met on Denver's opening day and the Spurs were toppled by an ambitious Denver team. Those ambitions have paid off and may result in a seven-game series against the defending world champions. The game starts at 7:30pm on Wednesday and will broadcast on Fox Sports South West and NBA League Pass.

Tony Parker had 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including 1-for-1 from downtown and 7-for-7 from the free throw line. He also had five assists and two rebounds. Unfortunately, he also had seven turnovers.

Tim Duncan had a textbook double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Devin Brown
(ribcage),Alex Garcia(foot), andSean Marks(knee) are all on the injured list.Matt Carroll(knee) was activated yesterday and played four minutes.


Jason Quick ofThe Oregonian writes: The Spurs (56-25) won their 10th consecutive game, riding their smothering defense and methodical offense in sweeping the season series from the Blazers.

TheUPIwrites: Tony Parker scored 22 points as the San Antonio Spurs extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 78-66 rout of the Portland Trail Blazers. The defending NBA champion Spurs (56-25) remained one game behind first-place Minnesota (57-24) in the Midwest Division with one game to play. San Antonio hosts Denver on Wednesday while Minnesota plays at Memphis. If the teams end up tied, the Spurs will capture the division title.