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In Tim Duncan's first postseason run without David Robinson, things had gotten off to an exceptional start for the re-built San Antonio Spurs.
Pop's club closed the regular season with 11 straight wins, including a key away victory against Los Angeles. It then swept the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs and won its first two contests against the Lakers to push the streak to 17 consecutive wins.
Like the season's earlier streak, this too was predicated on legendary defense, and the Spurs held opponents to an average of 80 points over those 17 games. Though one of Pop's most impressive streaks, it may have proven to be its undoing.
The Spurs lost their last four games to Los Angeles, including a crucial 74-73 loss in Game 5, when the series was tied at two games apiece. After Tim Duncan ostensibly won the game with an incredible buzzer beater, Derek Fisher infamously scored on a play in-bounded with only .4 seconds left on the clock. San Antonio would protest that the clock started too slowly to no avail, and the Spurs were denied an opportunity to repeat as champions on one of the more dubious calls in franchise history.