The Wild Weekend that Was
Last weekend, the Spurs played a lot more basketball than they expected
Who knew 20 minutes could feel so long?
San Antonio’s nap time was dramatically cut into during last weekend’s sojourn to the Pacific Time Zone when the squad defeated the Clippers April 9, 125-124, and Golden State April 10, 136-134, in a pair of double-overtime contests on back-to-back nights.
"Where they got the energy to keep going out there, I have no idea," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after the Golden state victory.
The triumphs – which took a combined six hours, 16 minutes to complete – are made even more impressive by the fact that the Spurs were without Tim Duncan and Devin Brown for the Los Angles game and Duncan, Brown, Rasho Nesterovic and Manu Ginobili in the Golden State contest.
"It's amazing," center Nazr Mohammed said about his team, which last won an NBA title two years ago. "It shows a lot of character having so many injured players and still getting the win. It will build confidence going into the playoffs."
The four sidelined members average a combined 50.2 points per game this season, which is over half of San Antonio's points per game production for the season.
That didn't stop the short-handed Spurs from scoring 136 against the Warriors, a total second only this season to Dallas’ 137 points versus Washington on Jan. 18. Combined with their 125 points against the Clippers, the Spurs posted 261 points over the two game stretch, the highest for a such a period since the Milwaukee Bucks totaled 267 on Jan. 8 and Jan. 10 in 2000.
"I have to give a lot of credit to San Antonio coming off back-to-back double overtime games," Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said. "That's why they've won championships and why they win games. They have a good group of guys who know how to compete."
Historically, teams facing the double-OT challenge haven’t faired nearly as well as the Spurs.
The Vancouver Grizzlies won a double overtime game at the L.A. Clippers on Feb. 16, 1999, and then dropped a triple overtime decision to the Boston Celtics the following night, 131-129.
The Minneapolis Lakers also had back-to-back triple overtime games during the 1951-52 season when they lost to the Philadelphia Warriors in triple overtime, 105-103, and then won a triple overtime the next day against the Baltimore Bullets, 96-90.
Other interesting overtime tidbits:
-- The epic triple-OT battle between Detroit (186) and Denver (184) on Dec. 13, 1983 set several records, including: Most points by a single team (Detroit, 186); most points by two teams (370); and most 40 or more point scorers in a game (Detroit: Isiah Thomas 47, John Long 41; Denver: Kiki Vandeweghe 51, Alex English 47).