tim duncan

The San Antonio Spurs mowed down another opponent, using their guile under pressure to close out another perfect playoff series.

Tim Duncan scored 21 points, Tony Parker added 17 and the Spurs beat the Los Angeles Clippers 102-99 on Sunday night to win their second-round matchup 4-0 and advance to the Western Conference finals.

”They played great, they made it tough on us,” Parker said. ”The last 2 minutes we got the stops we needed. Everybody did something.”

The Spurs extended their winning streak to 18 games and their playoff record to 8-0, tying the third-best postseason streak in franchise history.

”Until we go all the way, I can’t compare this team,” said Parker, who has won three NBA titles with the Spurs. ”We’re just trying to stay focused.”

Danny Green and Gary Neal added 14 points each, and Manu Ginobili and Thiago Splitter had 11 each.

”We needed a game like that. It arrived at the perfect time,” Parker said. ”We battled. We executed our plays, made big baskets.”

San Antonio could find out as soon as Monday night who it will play next. Oklahoma City leads the Lakers 3-1 in their series, with Game 5 on Monday.

– Reported by Beth Harris of the Associated Press

“They are a good team. I’m not taking anything away from them, but it doesn’t make us feel any better,” Griffin said about the Spurs. “There’s nothing about that you can feel good about.

“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and get to work this summer.”

There were 52 seconds to go when Paul made a pair of free throws to pull the Clippers within 100-99. Parker then missed a jumper.

The Clippers almost lost the ball before calling timeout. Paul drove the lane and looked like he wanted to pass and a Spurs player got a piece of the ball.

The Spurs recovered the loose ball and Paul fouled Danny Green, who made one of two free throws with 10 seconds left. After a timeout, the Clippers called Paul’s number. He drove the lane, but his shot hit the rim.

“I made a bad decision,” Paul said. “I took a shot and missed the shot. It’s all on me.”

– Reported by Jill Painter of the Los Angeles Daily News

With the victory, the Spurs moved on to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2008, when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.

“It was just perseverance,” Duncan said. “We just stuck with it. We kept moving the ball and doing what we wanted.”

Duncan finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and four assists, leading the Spurs to their 18th straight win, the longest winning streak in franchise history.

With it, the Spurs open the playoffs with consecutive sweeps for the first time in club annals, and have multiple sweeps in the same postseason for the first time since 1999.

They advance to face either Oklahoma City or the Lakers in a conference-finals series that will begin no earlier than Saturday. Having gone 39 days without a loss — their last was April 11 — that means it will be another six before the Spurs will have a chance to end the winning streak they swear they haven’t even thought about.

– Reported by Jeff McDonals of the San Antonio Express-News