Analytics Art: Longest winning streaks

By Andrew Bergmann (@dubly), for

If San Antonio beats Indiana tonight (7 p.m., NBA TV), the Spurs will notch their 18th straight win, breaking the franchise record and joining an elite group of classic NBA teams.

Only 12 teams in the history of the league have ever pulled off  an 18-game win streak.


Andrew Bergmann’s data driven design work can be found on CNN, NBA, Sports Illustrated, Deadspin, Washington Post and USA Today. See more on and Thanks to Tracy Weissenberg for the tip.



  1. splendid mind says:

    if pacers will advance to the finals vs san antonio spurs..
    the finals would not be exciting and no thrill..boring..

    like now…dey wer routed in their home floor…

    but if heat will advance in finals vs spurs or thunder…
    ha…kinda exciting and thrill…weeeew…

  2. Gillsy says:

    You have to admire the Spurs. They have players who are over the hill or plucked from obscurity. They always draft at about number 20- 30 each year but pick up a useful player that no one ever say coming. Duncan is one of the best ever period. I hope they win him another ring this year so he can ride off into the sunset a winner. But knowing TD he will be back by training camp and showing the young guys how to play.

    • boots says:

      I think a lot of it has to do with the fact they seem to look for character guys more than athletic freaks of nature. I mean you look at Kawhi Leonard. He’s athletic but not freakishly so, yet he’s doing really well because he’s got a good head, he’s smart and he plays with the team.

  3. okc2014 says:

    The Spurs will win 60 games this season. The Spurs will be the #1 seed in the West. The Spurs will make it to the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs will be unable to close out with the Thunder, who are better athletically faster; and they have no answer for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook when they are ON FIRE. The Spurs are great but boring.

    • allaroundballer says:

      Boring/not it’s about your bball taste. I bet you durant n lebron are the type of player that would enjoy to play spurs system. Simply because both love to make the right team play

  4. Eric Henry says:

    If there are only a few teams in the history of the NBA who have won 18 straight, and the Spurs have done it twice, in 2012 and 2014, where does that put them in the rank of elite teams? In 2012 half the wins were in the playoffs as well. And all this when they are old and past their prime of 4 championships.

  5. Mindmischief says:

    Spurs are a good franchise because they are managed by good people who can get players and turn them to become great with a phenomenal coach and great system. They play great fundamental, respectable basketball and get business done. Spurs fans are contempt with being undermined and the “boring” stigma attached to the franchise. Any Spurs fan who goes around talking trash about other teams does not understand the Spurs way. Spurs team and fans don’t need the love or confirmation of what makes a good team because the Spurs set the standard.

  6. spursfan says:

    put the spurs on the list.

  7. willie says:

    @rudman, Duncan and parker are superstars…. not as flamboyant and high-profiled as LBJ and kobe, but superstars nevertheless…

  8. ARagorn500 says:

    @Rudman just to let you know, Duncan is what I call a superstar and in the top 5 PFs of all time. and Tony Parker is also right on the border of being a superstar. and by the way, i’m not bias toward the Spurs because I’m a Heat fan

  9. Johnny C. says:

    The San Antonio Spurs will probably go down in history as the greatest professional sports franchise in the history of sports. It must be amazing to be a Spurs fan. They are SO lucky. Gosh!

  10. Bob Slydell says:

    I despise the Spurs. They are the NBA’s Duke. I don’t care if they play the “correct way” or have a “beautiful, unselfish offense” or whatever. They are a pain the butt because they consistently win and do nothing else. No sort of struggles, adversity to fight through, or lessons learned: nope, they just win 55+ games and go deep into the playoffs year after year after year after year. You want to see the NBA’s real Evil Empire? It’s staring at you in the face. I want to see the Spurs emotionally affected by a bad loss, struggle for a while and ultimately redeem themselves… ANYTHING other than win and win and win and win and don’t even mention it. It’s why nobody pays attention to them! I’m saying this from a fan’s perspective, not regarding what makes a successful team, mind you; of course their consistency is one of their organizational strengths. As a (admittedly bitter) Minnesota fan it’s infuriating to see the same collection of teams (Bulls, Celtics, Spurs, Suns, etc.) do really well nearly every year while yours flounders and goes on a decades-long playoff drought. I will continue to hate the Spurs until something changes about them and their fans learn what struggling really feels like.

    • MrLeche says:

      Funny you say we don’t feel struggles? Obstacles, adversity to fight thru? Man we go to playoffs every damn year for the last 15-16? but we only got 4 titles out of 5 appearance? Why? cause we struggled most of the years, we had adversities we eliminated and sometimes got upset. We’re there yesterday, today and tomorrow so we got new teams that grows rivalry.

      Spurs have gone thru Lakers Rivalry for a decade, and for some time we got Texas Rivalry with Mavs upsetting the spurs on playoffs, Rockets did the same. We got a very good year but struggled in front of Steve Nash, Amare, Grant Hill, Boris Diaw’s Phoenix Suns, then we make it out to the top of the whole league another year then get upset by the new Grizzlies, And then another year was lost because we got beaten by the Thunder.

      Finally, our umblemished 100% Championship rate was snatched by Miami heat because we ain’t good enough last year. But all those years we learned to be consistent. Prrobably the word you’ll learn next for yourself if you’re already in the level of achieving victories over victories or victories while you still remain playing and have no plans on retiring.

  11. abdulrahman says:

    what about the 20 games winning streak in 2011-2012 when they won their last 10 games in the regular season and the first 10 games in the playoffs, sweeping both the Jazz and the Clippers and winning the first two against the thunder.

  12. Jon says:

    What about their win streak in 2012 that went 20 straight and included 2 playoff series sweeps?

  13. dustydreamnz says:

    ….and not only that Rudman, their top players only clock around 30 mins per game.

  14. John says:

    Go Spurs Go all we do is win 50+ wins since 95 #ThriveFor5

  15. Steve Long says:

    go spurs

  16. Sep says:

    didn’t the clippers get 18 last year?

  17. Rudman says:

    the most impressive thing about how spurs achieve these types of things is that the do this w/o the likes of superstars like the LJ or KB’s of the league….only players who are “over themselves”.

    • DaRealSlimShady says:

      It’s funny cuz you called Kobe a superstar #sothreeyearsago

      • i-X says:

        Spurs will win the championship this year!! They’re just better now, starting five is stronger with the development and improvement of Leonard and Splitter. Now the bench, i’ve never seen such a stronger bench for the Spurs with Mills, Bellineli, Ginobili, Diaw and Baynes/Ayers. They still have Bonner, Joseph and Daye which would probably have lesser role in the playoffs but they can still produce. Bellineli and Diaw will be big for the Spurs come playoff time and will win that championship before TD retires.