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Spurs Grab Record-Setting Win, Nets Eye Home Streak Victory

On Monday, the San Antonio Spurs (58-16) defeated the Indiana Pacers (52-23), 103-77, and set a new franchise record of 18 consecutive wins.

The game had once been viewed as one representative of a NBA Finals game but in the end, its story centered around the Pacers as their wheels continue to come off as they have now lost their last 10 of 16 games (5 of 6). This represents their worst stretch since coach Frank Vogel took over as its permanent skipper, according to NBC Sports.

With their 38% shooting, this was the Pacers’ sixth consecutive game shooting under 40%–the longest single-streak in its franchise history. The play by the Pacers became so bad at times on Monday, their fans booed.

Paul George led in scoring with 16 points while Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson both scored 15 points apiece. The Pacers were outrebounded by the Spurs 15-7 on the offensive glass and outscored on second-chance points, 42-28.

Another possible source of the team’s recent problems? Hibbert believes its selfishness among his teammates. He said last week via NBA.com, “Some selfish dudes in here. Some selfish dudes. I’m tired of talking about it. We’ve been talking about it for a month.”

Tony Parker

Tony Parker

As for the Spurs, they appear to be going in the opposite direction at the right time. For the night, Tony Parker led the team in scoring with his 22 points (11 in the first quarter) while Boris Diaw contributed 14 points. Veteran Tim Duncan’s 3 of 10 from the field shooting and Manu Ginobili’s dismal six points with two assists didn’t seem to affect the team too much.

One of the keys to the Spurs’ success has been its offensive efficiency. On Monday, it hit 124.8–its second-highest one in this 18-game streak (16-0 in March) and since their last loss on February 21, the Spurs sit atop the NBA for both offensive (112.5) and defensive (96.5) efficiency.

They have also seen their 3-pointers rise during the streak from 38.8% to 43.9%–also a league best.

The victories have also enabled the Spurs to take a larger home-court advantage from the Oklahoma City Thunder (54-19) as they sit 3 1/2 games ahead in the Western Conference. The team will have the number three on its mind for its magic number to get home court advantage for the NBA Finals.

On Wednesday, the Spurs will play the Golden State Warriors (45-28). San Antonio sits at 11/2 to win the 2014 NBA Championship.

For the Pacers, they will host the Detroit Pistons (27-47) on Wednesday and now sit behind the Miami Heat (51-22) as their hopes for a home court advantage are tumbling.

The Pacers sit at 13/4 to win it all.

In other Southwest Division news, the Houston Rockets (49-23) will take on the Brooklyn Nets (39-33) on Tuesday.

Another streak is on the line for this game and this one will come for the Nets who are seeking a 14th straight home win. On Sunday with their 114-99 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves (36-37), the Nets tied their 2001-02 home win streak, which had been matched the next year and now they are equal for the longest home-court streak in the league for the season.

But good luck setting the record against Rockets as the Nets have 14 consecutive losses against them.

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

After their 118-107 Saturday loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (53-22), the Rockets snapped a five-game win streak and saw the opportunity to go even with the Clippers for the Western Conference’s third spot end. The team is short handed among their starters, including Dwight Howard (listed as day-to-day from an ankle strain), while Pat Beverly is out indefinitely with a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Fortunately James Harden has stepped it up and in the last four games, he has averaged 31.5 points per game and in 3-point shooting, he has gone 15-of-34.

On Tuesday, Brooklyn gets the win for the record (-3, 209.5 o/u).






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