The Ultimate 2014 NBA Playoffs Race Guide: Spurs Ready to Clinch No. 1 in League, Thunder to Challenge

  on April 04 2014 1:55 AM
Dallas Mavericks 106, San Antonio Spurs 112
Tony Parker returned after a six-game absence to help the Spurs beat Texas rival Mavericks. The Frenchman had 22 points and 7 assists for the Spurs, which has won 6 of their last 7 outings. Tim Duncan had 17 markers and 9 boards and Kawhi leonard finished with 16 points with three 3-pointers.

The battle at the top of the Western Conference became one-sided after a seething 19-game winning streak by the San Antonio Spurs. The Oklahoma City Thunder, which are still mathematically probable to finish with the best record in the NBA, host the Spurs on Thursday night.

READ ALSO: The Ultimate 2014 NBA Playoffs Race Guide: Heat, Pacers Battle for East No. 1

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and company might get the win and end the Spurs’ franchise-record streak but their team would still be three games back off the defending West champions so it appears San Antonio has this in the bag.

Below are the details for each team in the stretch run of their NBA regular season.

Battle for the West’s Top Spot

1. San Antonio Spurs (59-16) 2. Oklahoma City Thunder (54-19)

Oklahoma City has won 8 of its last 10 games—respectable run but of course, pales in comparison to the Spurs’ streak 19-0 in the last 19 outings and haven’t lost a game

Games Left:

San Antonio Spurs (3 home, 4 away) - @OKC, MEM, @MIN, @DAL, PHX, @HOU, LAL  Oklahoma City Thunder (3 home, 6 away) - SAS, @HOU, @PHX, @SAC, @LAC, NOP, @IND, @NOP, DET

Both these title contenders have more games away from home that in their own court. Still, OKC’s remaining schedule definitely looks tougher—not to mention they have more games to play. There are three scrub teams—gifts at this point of the season—on tap: at Sacramento Kings; versus New Orleans Pelicans twice and the Detroit Pistons plus five against legit playoff contenders.

To clinch the #1 seed in the West and the entire NBA, the Spurs need to get to 64 wins—or 5 wins out of the last 7. With the lowly Los Angeles Lakers and the inconsistent Minnesota Timberwolves still ahead, that magic number is easier to reach.

The Thunder will make its last stand on Thursday. If they lose to the Spurs at home, it’s all but over.

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