tim duncan

It’s the dirty six-letter word that no one around the Spurs wants to acknowledge, much less even discuss.

The Spurs persevered for their 18th straight victory Sunday night, finishing off a sweep of the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals.

But when asked about his team’s recent historic streak, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was reticent to discuss much.

“It doesn’t exist for us,” Popovich said. “We don’t talk about it. I’ve never heard anybody mention it except you all. And it’s not even a thought in our minds. Each game is just a separate entity.”

No matter if he wants to talk about it, the Spurs’ streak is the longest in team history and among the 10 longest in NBA history. And of the nine other teams that have won that many consecutive games, six of them eventually claimed NBA titles.

Popovich did provide some explanations why his team hasn’t lost in the last 39 days.

“I guess what I have to say overall is that we’ve been very consistent offensively and our pace has allowed us to score,” Popovich said. “Defensively, I think we’ve been able to turn it up at different points of the game.

“That’s not usually something we’re used to. We’re used to being a good defensive team for 48 minutes, but that’s not who we are anymore.”

– Reported by Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News