The Spurs and Thunder have a night of rarities

You take the cool scoring records, I'll take the wins.

The ancient Spurs stand close to making history

The Spurs have been red hot in the playoffs. They’ve won 10 consecutive games to start their playoff run. This is truly an epic feat. In fact since 1950 only two other teams have achieved this. The 1989 Los Angeles Lakers and the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers both managed to win 11 consecutive games. Both of these teams made the finals. The Spurs stand one game away from being the only other franchise to do this, and they stand a chance to beat the record!

The Thunder lose with style

I got a crazy note after the Thunder lost last night:

It turns out this is a pretty weird event. I decided to look over this season and see if I could find teams that could have such a powerful offense and lose. I looked for teams that had two players score more than 30 points and managed to lose. Instead of using 20 shots I looked for players with a True Shooting % above 60%. Let’s see how many teams managed to lose with two players shooting great.

Game Player PTS TS% Player PTS TS%
5/29 OKC@SAS Kevin Durant 31 75.5% James Harden 30 80.1%
2/18 GSW@MEM Stephen Curry 36 79.1% Monta Ellis 33 60.5%
4/24 LAC@ATL Blake Griffin 36 72.7% Chris Paul 34 68.4%
3/2 MIA@UTA LeBron James 35 69.1% Dwyane Wade 31 62.4%
3/14 MIA@CHI Dwyane Wade 36 63.5% LeBron James 35 64.3%
3/13 ATL@DEN Joe Johnson 34 63.2% Josh Smith 33 65.5%
4/25 DEN@OKC Kevin Durant 32 65.8% Russell Westbrook 30 61.5%

Durant and Harden actually shot insanely well. Both were over 75% in True Shooting. No other tandem has come close to this. In fact only Steph Curry and Blake Griffin hit True Shooting over 70%. 60% True Shooting is actually a hard standard and with that benchmark here’s how it breaks down:

  • 1 overtime regular season loss out of 64 regular season overtime games played
  • 1 playoff game out of 69 playoff games played
  • 5 regulation regular season losses out of 926 regular season games played
  • 6 regular season losses out of 990 total games played
  • 7 total losses out of 1059 games played (990 regular season, 69 playoff)

The 7 total losses break down to less than 1%. So it is a very rare event. I’m sure that’s not much consolation to the Thunder, but at least they went down swinging — no thanks to an ancient Derek Fisher and a has-been Kendrick Perkins.