TrueHoop: Gerald Wilkins
May, 30, 2012
By ESPN Stats & Information
Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesTony Parker scored a game-high 34 points as the San Antonio Spurs won their 20th straight game.The streak goes on for the San Antonio Spurs, who withstood a late Oklahoma City Thunder rally to win their 20th straight game and take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
The Spurs are the fourth team in NBA history to win at least 20 straight games in one season. Two of the three teams to reach that threshold in the past won the NBA title that season. During the streak, the Spurs are winning by nearly 15 points per game.
San Antonio is the third team to win at least 10 games to start the playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers started the postseason with 11 wins twice in franchise history. They made the NBA Finals both times, winning the title in 2001 and losing in 1989.
Tony Parker scored a game-high 34 points while shooting 16-for-21 from the floor. He is the third guard in the last 25 years to attempt at least 20 shots and make at least 75 percent of those attempts. The others were Kevin Johnson for the Phoenix Suns in 1995 and Gerald Wilkins for the New York Knicks in 1989.
Parker was especially successful from mid- and long-range. He hit 11 of 15 shots from at least 10 feet from the basket. That ties his best shooting percentage from that range over the last three seasons.
On the defensive end, Tim Duncan blocked four shots to move past Hakeem Olajuwon into second place all-time in postseason blocks. Duncan has 473 playoff blocks in his career and trails Kareem Abdul-Jabbar by three for the NBA record.
The Thunder scored 67 points in the second half to close a 22-point deficit to six points midway through the fourth quarter. It was the first time that the Spurs allowed triple digits in this year’s playoffs. According to Elias, their nine straight games without allowing 100 points was the longest streak in a single postseason.
Low-scoring games have been common in the 2012 playoffs. This was just the third time this postseason that both teams scored at least 100 points.
In Game 1, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden each made fewer than half their shots. They bounced back in Game 2, but didn’t get much help from the rest of the team. Durant, Westbrook and Harden combined for 88 points and 17 assists while shooting 56 percent from the floor. The rest of the Thunder contributed just 23 points and two assists on 21 percent shooting.