Coach Gregg Popovich said before the San Antonio Spurs’ latest contest that his team may need to get "slapped" so that it doesn’t relish in the success of a long winning streak.
San Antonio went out and won anyway – handily, in fact – and doesn’t appear to be slowing down, either.
The Spurs look to extend their streak to 19 on Wednesday night by winning a 31st straight regular-season home meeting with the Golden State Warriors.
San Antonio (58-16) holds the NBA’s best record and has been on a tear of late, setting a franchise record for consecutive victories since losing to Phoenix on Feb. 21.
It has won by an average of 16.5 points after Tony Parker scored a game-high 22 points in Monday’s 103-77 win over Indiana to break the team record.
”I think he’ll be happy if we lose anytime soon,” Parker said of Popovich. ”I’m pretty sure because he’s going to rest like half of the team.”
The Spurs sure don’t appear to need any rest, especially if they keep winning so easily. Boris Diaw scored 14 points and Patty Mills added 10 off the bench as Tim Duncan struggled to score nine on 3 of 10 shooting.
”Great streak right now, this was a good win for us," Duncan said. ”To continue the streak, all that is good. We’ll worry about a couple of things, staying healthy, finishing the season strong and hopefully going into the playoffs with the confidence we’re playing with now.”
San Antonio didn’t have much trouble when both Duncan and Manu Ginobili sat out against the Warriors (46-28) on March 22, as Parker scored 20 points and Tiago Splitter added 17 and 14 rebounds.
The Spurs have won all three matchups this season, earning a 76-74 victory Nov. 8 before Splitter’s basket in the final seconds gave them a 104-102 win Dec. 19. Their five-game overall winning streak against Golden State includes the final two of last season’s six-game Western Conference semifinal series.
The Warriors’ 100-91 road victory in Game 2 of that series marks their only win in their last 33 contests in San Antonio, including the playoffs. They haven’t won a regular-season game there since Feb. 14, 1997.
Stephen Curry missed Golden State’s only trip to San Antonio in November due to a sprained ankle, but he seems more than prepared for this matchup. He finished with 23 points and 10 assists after hitting a jumper in the final second of overtime to give the Warriors a 122-120 victory over Dallas on Tuesday.
”I had missed a couple in regulation and a couple in overtime that I felt were good, so I just knew to keep shooting it, and thankfully it went in,” Curry said.
Jermaine O’Neal made a crucial block late in overtime and scored 20 points. Klay Thompson scored a team-best 27.
”(O’Neal) was fantastic,” coach Mark Jackson said. "He’s an incredible basketball player that’s had an incredible career, and he’s finishing it his way.”
Golden State, which sits in sixth place in the West, had dropped two of its previous three.
”Incredible win for us,” Jackson said. ”We had everything going against us. Guys really stepped up and made plays.”
Curry is averaging just 12.6 points in five career regular-season games in San Antonio.