Spurs miss NBA playoffs

August 14, 2020
Milwaukee Bucks guard Frank Mason II (right) shoots against Memphis Grizzlies guard Grayson Allen (3) and forward Anthony Tolliver (44) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Thursday. The win for the Grizzlies means the San Antonio Spurs will miss the NBA playoffs for the first time in 23 years.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Frank Mason II (right) shoots against Memphis Grizzlies guard Grayson Allen (3) and forward Anthony Tolliver (44) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Thursday. The win for the Grizzlies means the San Antonio Spurs will miss the NBA playoffs for the first time in 23 years.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida (AP):

San Antonio's record-tying run of 22 consecutive postseason appearances is over, with the Spurs being eliminated from contention for a Western Conference play-in spot on Thursday.

The Spurs were officially ousted when Memphis defeated Milwaukee and Phoenix completed an undefeated eight-game run in the NBA's restart bubble at Walt Disney World with a victory over Dallas.

Those games went final shortly before San Antonio was playing their final game of the season against Utah. The Spurs needed the Grizzlies or the Suns to lose to have any chance of getting into the West play-in series that begins Saturday to decide the NBA's final postseason berth.

The 22-year run of play-off spots tied the Philadelphia 76ers' franchise for the longest in NBA history. The 76ers, starting as the Syracuse Nationals before moving to Philadelphia, went to the playoffs every year from 1950 through 1971.

LONGEST STREAK

With San Antonio out, the longest active postseason streak now belongs to the Houston Rockets. They'll be in the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year starting next week.

This is how long the streak, all of it with Gregg Popovich as head coach of the Spurs, went: David Stern wasn't even halfway through his 30-year run as commissioner when the Spurs' streak started. The Charlotte Bobcats - that's what today's Hornets went by then - were still six and a half years from playing their first game. Pat Riley was still coaching the Los Angeles Lakers.

And now, for the first time since 1981, the playoffs will happen without either Riley or Popovich as head coaches.

The Spurs won five championships during the streak. They played 284 postseason games over those years; the only franchises within 100 of that were the Lakers (218), Miami (196) and Boston (192). And the Spurs won 170 play-off games in that span; only seven franchises have more play-off wins in their entire history.

All 170 of those wins for the Spurs came under Popovich, a total that gives him more career play-off victories than any two current coaches combined. There were 102 players who got into at least one Spurs play-off game during the streak, including current NBA head coaches Jacque Vaughn, Steve Kerr and Monty Williams.

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