Spurs Miss NBA Playoffs for First Time in 23 Seasons

The last time the Spurs missed the postseason was the 1996-97 season

Spurs Miss NBA Playoffs for First Time in 23 Seasons
Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks with Dejounte Murray. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty)
Getty Images

It’s the end of an era.

After making an NBA-record 22 straight playoff appearances, the San Antonio Spurs are finally outside of the postseason looking in.

The Spurs, who last missed the postseason following the 1996-97 season, failed to qualify for the playoffs in the NBA’s Orlando bubble and played their final game of the season knowing it would be their last. It was a 118-112 loss to the Utah Jazz. With the defeat, the Spurs finished at 32-39, the first losing season for the team since 1996-97, the year Gregg Popovich took over as coach 18 games into the season.

A playoff longshot entering the bubble, the Spurs fought ’til the end.

“At this point, it’s been a huge success for our team and our young players, the development that we’ve talked about from the beginning,” Popovich said. “We’re very happy with what’s gone on here.”

During the playoff streak, San Antonio played 284 postseason games, winning 170 of them and five championships. Only seven other NBA franchises have more playoff wins in their entire history.

The Spurs were officially eliminated from making the play-in series for the final spot in the Western Conference when Memphis beat Milwaukee earlier in the day and Phoenix won their game. With their win to close out the night, the Portland Trail Blazers qualified for the play-in series, and they will take on the Grizzlies on Saturday.

Now that the Spurs’ streak has been broken, the longest active postseason streak belongs to the Houston Rockets, who will be in the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year starting next week.

Fun fact courtesy of Axios Sports: Two other franchises have made the playoffs at least 20 straight times since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976. They are the Trail Blazers (1983-2003) and Jazz (1984-2003).

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