The Spurs are one of four former American Basketball Association teams to remain intact in the NBA after the 1976 ABA-NBA and is the only former ABA team to have won an NBA Champion. The Spurs' four NBA championships are the fourth most in NBA history, behind only the Boston Celtics (17), Los Angeles Lakers (16) and Chicago Bulls (6). As of July 2009, the Spurs rank third among active franchises for the highest winning percentage in NBA history; they have only missed the playoffs four times as an NBA franchise.
In their 37 NBA seasons since 1976–1977, the Spurs have captured 19 division titles. They have made the playoffs in 23 of the last 24 seasons (since 1989–1990), and have not missed the playoffs in the 16 seasons since Tim Duncan was drafted by the Spurs in 1997. With their 50th win in the 2012–2013 season, the Spurs extended their record for most consecutive 50+ win seasons to 14 (the 1998/1999 season was shortened to 50 games because of a lockout and based on their win percentage of .740, would have easily surpassed 60 wins in an 82-game season). They are the only team in the NBA with a tied or better head-to-head regular season record against every active team, but the Los Angeles Lakers. (Spurs and Trail Blazers are tied at 74 games each in head-to-head matches.) After the Spurs lost the 2013 NBA Finals to the Miami Heat in seven games, they are the second North American men's professional sports team in 2013 to have lost their first championship game/series ever after winning 4 or more championships before without a single championship game/series loss, after the NFL's, San Franciso 49eres, who were previously 5-0 in Super Bowls all-time before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII (coincidentially, the Spurs and 49ers were both "West Coast" teams).
2012–2013: Return to the NBA Finals
The Spurs began their off-season after losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Western Conference Finals 4–2, and entered the 2012 NBA Draft with the second to the last pick, their only pick of the draft. Spurs drafted Missouri Tigris senior point guard Marcus Denmon with the 59th pick. The Spurs were eager to bring Slovenian big man Erazem lorbek to the team due to the lack of size, which was the main concern for the team with the aging Tim Duncan, but were unable to bring in after his previous club, FC Bracelona offered him the largest contract in team history. On July 9, the Spurs managed to re-sign swingman Danny Green, who was a welcome surprise for them from the previous season. The deal is worth $12 million over 3 years. The following day, they also re-signed Tim Duncan for three years $30 million, Boris Diaw for two years $9 million, and Patrick Mills giving the Spurs a new hope towards their championship aspiration. On July 13, 2012, the Spurs signed their 2009 draft pick Nando de colo to a two-year contract.
On November 30, the Spurs were fined $250,000 as a result of Gregg Popovich's decision to rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green against the Miami Heat in Miami the previous night. On December 8, 2012, the Spurs recorded a new franchise record with 19 3-pointers made in a win against the Charlotte Bobcats, which was later surpassed on December 23 with 20 3-pointers made against the Dalls Mavericks. The Spurs clinched the playoffs for the 16th consecutive season, as well as extending the NBA record with 50+ games for 14 seasons. On April 16, the Spurs signed two-time scoring champion, and seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrandy to help the Spurs in the playoffs after waiving Stephan Jackson. The Spurs finished the regular season second in the Western Conference behind the Oklahoma City Thunder with a record of 58–24, and faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round, in which they swept the Lakers by 4–0. In the second round of the 2013 playoffs, the Spurs faced Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. They beat the Warriors four games to two in the Western Conference Semifinals. In the conference finals, the Spurs swept the Memphis Grizzlies in four games, with Tony Parker having a 18-assist performance in Game 2 on May 21st and a 37-point performance in Game 4 on May 27th. The Miami Heat won the Eastern Conference Championship seven days after the Spurs won the West, setting up a Spurs vs. Heat NBA Finals
On June 6, 2013, San Antonio defeated Miami 92-88 in Game 1, largely upon Tony Parker's game winner shot with 5.2 seconds on the clock. This was their seventh win in a row in the 2013 postseason. However, Miami blew them out 103-84 in Game 2, tying the series at 1 game apiece. San Antonio won Game 3 in a 113-77 route, giving Miami their worst loss in playoff history as well as setting a new Finals record with 16 3-point field goals made. The Spurs were blown out 109-93 by the Heat in Game 4, and the series was tied again. San Antonio responded in Game 5 winning 114-104 with Manu Ginobili having his best game of the 2013 postseason, scoring 24 points and dishing 10 assists. Danny Green scored 24 as well on 6-10 from three point range, setting a new NBA Finals record for most three pointers by a player in a single Finals series, hitting 25 of 38 in the series at the game's end, a record previously owned, ironically, by Miami's Ray Allen who had 22 in the 2008 Finals. Allen struggled to contain both Green and Ginobli. The win gave San Antonio a 3-2 lead going into game 6. The Spurs were on the verge of winning the championship up 13 points heading into the 4th quarter when LeBron James scored 18 points in the period, outscoring the entire Spurs squad himself at one point, and with 28 seconds left to go in regulation the Spurs were up 5. Ray Allen went on to hit a 3 pointer to tie the game with 5 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime where the Spurs were defeated 103-100. Some call Game 6 one of the greatest games in Finals history. The win tied the series once more, at 3-3. In Game 7, the Spurs finally succumbed to the Heat and were defeated 95-88, despite Duncan's 24 point, 12 rebound effort. San Antonio jumped out to a lead early and kept the game close the entire way. However, Duncan failed to convert on two attempts to tie the game: a missed layup and missed tip in and LeBron James hit a jumper to increase the lead to 92-88. After a steal on Ginobili, James hit two free throws after being fouled by Duncan, and when Ginobli missed a subsequent 3 pointer, Dwyne Wade hit one out of two from the line to put the game on ice. The Spurs failed to win the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history
San Antonio Spurs Roster
|Tony Parker||9||Point guard|
|Tim Duncan||21||Power forward|
|Manu Ginóbili||20||Shooting guard|
|Tracy McGrady||1||Small forward|
|Kawhi Leonard||2||Shooting guard|
|Tiago Splitter||22||forward center|
|Danny Green||4||Shooting guard|
|DeJuan Blair||45||Power center|
|Cory Joseph||5||Point guard|
|Nando de Colo||25||Point guard|
|Gary Neal||14||Point guard|
|Patty Mills||8||Point guard|