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San Antonio Spurs: Ranking the 20-Game Win Streak's Spot in NBA History

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 31:  Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts in the third quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 31, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IJune 2, 2012

The San Antonio Spurs saw their impressive 20-game win streak come to an end at the hand of the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night.

But while the Spurs now have to start a new winning streak to capture their fifth NBA championship, it doesn't take away what they accomplished throughout the past 20 games.

But where does it rank them historically?

There have been some pretty impressive win streaks throughout time, but the San Antonio one ranks right up there among the best runs in NBA history.

Let's take a look at the five most impressive runs ever.

 

5. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks

With a roster that included the league's leading scorer in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor, 31.7 PPG), and a 32-year-old Oscar Robertson, the Bucks finished tied for the third longest regular season win streak in history with 20 consecutive wins.

They finished the regular season with a 66-16 mark and swept the Baltimore Bullets to win the NBA championship.

 

4. 2007-08 Houston Rockets

The Rockets won 55 games on the season and went on a 22-game win streak, the second longest in NBA history.

They did so on the back of Tracy McGrady, who was in the middle of an outstanding run, but the streak was even more impressive considering that Yao Ming was lost to injury in the middle of it.

 

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after he makes a three-pointer as time expires in the third quarter over Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals in the
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

3. 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers

This Lakers team won 56 games in the regular season and had a 19-game win streak that included 11 consecutive postseason wins.

I put a little more stock in playoff victories, so this team ranks slightly ahead of what Houston did in the regular season. 

Even though they would eventually go on to lose a game in the postseason, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant rode the momentum of this winning streak and captured the NBA championship.

 

2. 2011-12 San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs recent win streak doesn't get them the top spot overall, but it's right up there. San Antonio won their final 10 regular season games to go along with their first 10 postseason games.

Even more impressive has been the way the Spurs have been winning, as 15 of the 20 wins came by double-digits.

 

1. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers

It's hard not to give the No. 1 spot to a team that won 33 consecutive games, but that is exactly what this Lakers team accomplished.

Shortly after the great Elgin Baylor retired, the Lakers went on the longest winning streak in NBA history. 

In addition, they finished the season with 69 regular season wins, a record that stood for 24 years, and won their first championship since re-locating to Los Angeles.

This Lakers team was historically one of the greatest teams in professional sports history.

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