If the NBA had the equivalent of a Mortal Kombat-style fatality
, it would be the San Antonio Spurs finishing off yet another opponent in the fourth quarter.
They added to their growing list of victims on Thursday, outscoring Milwaukee by 11 over the final 12 minutes to break open what had been a tie game. In doing so the Spurs improved to 8-2 when tied or trailing entering the fourth quarter, a huge reason why they’re off to a 15-4 start — tying rival Oklahoma City for the league lead — despite a variety of injuries.
Not surprisingly, the Spurs are No. 1 in fourth-quarter scoring at 27.6 per game. They’re outscoring opponents by an NBA-best average of 4.3 points in the final period, accounting for nearly two thirds of their overall margin of victory, 6.8 points, in just 12 minutes.
The Spurs’ eight victories when tied or trailing down entering the fourth – at New Orleans:
Tied at 71-all, outscored Hornets 28-24 in the fourth to win 99-95
. Oklahoma City:
Tied at 66-all, outscored Thunder 20-18 in the fourth to win 86-84
Tied at 79-all, outscored Jazz 31-21 in the fourth to win 110-100
. at Portland:
Trailed 79-73, outscored Blazers 39-30 in the fourth to win 112-109
. at Indiana:
Trailed 77-73, outscored Pacers 31-20 in the fourth to win 104-97
. at Toronto:
Trailed 70-69, outscored Raptors 42-36 in the fourth and two overtimes to win 111-106
Trailed 73-60, outscored Grizzlies 39-22 in the fourth and overtime to win 99-95
Tied at 76-all, outscored Bucks 34-23 in the fourth to win 110-99
The list does not include a pair of victories — 97-86 at Sacramento, 84-82 at the L.A. Lakers — in which the Spurs led by just one entering the final quarter. Spurs Nation