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Spurs playoff streak comes to an end

San Antonio was eliminated from playoff contention Thursday after wins by the Suns and Grizzlies. It’s been 22 seasons since the Spurs failed to make the postseason.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks with guard Quinndary Weatherspoon during the second half of a NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets at Visa Athletic Center.  Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs will not be in the NBA playoffs for the first time since the 1996-97 season. The Spurs had made the postseason in 22 straight seasons leading up to 2019-20. After a long layoff and a decent fight in the NBA bubble in Orlando, the Spurs were eliminated by wins from the Suns and Grizzlies on Thursday afternoon.

San Antonio will no longer be in contention for the play-in tournament to decide the 8-seed in the West. Instead, it’s down to the Grizzlies, Suns and Trail Blazers. If the Trail Blazers lose, it’s the Suns and Grizzlies in a two-game format this weekend. If the Blazers win, it’s Memphis vs. Portland.

The end of an era came to a close with a loss to the Utah Jazz on Thursday night. The Spurs fell 118-112 to the Jazz but the future is still bright for San Antonio with pieces like Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Keldon Johnson. Lonnie Walker has room to grow as well and there’s always DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge in the short-term. It’ll be interesting to see how much longer Gregg Popovich decides to coach the Spurs before retiring.