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5 greatest moments in San Antonio Spurs history, ranked

The San Antonio Spurs are no strangers to success in the NBA. They’ve had countless moments of magic and have won championships in each of the last three decades – the only team to have done so.

But a few moments stood out beyond the rest.

Honorable mentions – David Robinson records a quadruple double

34 points – 10 rebounds – 10 assists – 10 blocks.

You couldn’t make a Spurs list without mentioning The Admiral. There are only five quadruple doubles ever in recorded NBA history. Nate Thurmond notched the first one in 1974 while Alvin Robinson the second a decade later. Hakeem Olajuwon scored two of them in the same month in 1990. Robinson became the fifth in a 1994 game against the Detroit Pistons.

Honorable mentions – Manu Ginobili swats a bat with his bear hands

We’ll let the footage speak for itself.

Now, onto the top 5:

#5 Robert Horry carries the Spurs in 2005

In game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Spurs were in a tie game entering the 4th quarter.

With the series tied at 2 apiece, this was a pivotal contest that could have very well determined the champion. Enter Big Shot Bob. In classic Horry fashion, he came out of nowhere to win a crucial playoff game all by himself. Despite averaging just 6 points during the regular season, Horry scored 13 points in the 4th quarter and 5 of the Spurs’ 6 points in OT, including a no-hesitation three to give San Antonio the lead with under 6 seconds to play.

You can’t say the man didn’t earn any of his 7 rings. 

#4 Sean Elliot and the Memorial Day Miracle

During the 1999 Western Conference Finals, the San Antonio Spurs needed a miracle.

In what was a sign of things to come for the franchise, they got one. The Spurs were down by 18 points in the third quarter and made a furious comeback to cut the lead to just two in the closing seconds. Sean Elliot, who was playing despite nursing a serious kidney condition, got the ball for the last shot. He hoisted up a contested three while nearly stepping out of bounds.

Without this moment, we might not have had the next one on this list.


#3 San Antonio wins their first championship

After a decade dominated by the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets, a new dynasty was just about to arrive.

The San Antonio Spurs were led by their iconic big man duo. David Robinson long buoyed the Spurs to moderate success in the 90s, right until Tim Duncan arrived t carry them to the promised land.

Young Timmy averaged 27.4 points and 14 rebounds during the series, but it was diminutive point guard Avery Johnson who stuck the dagger in the Knicks’ heart in ’99.

#2 Spurs, Kawhi get revenge on the Heat

After the most gut-wrenching Finals shot possibly in NBA history from Ray Allen the previous year, the Spurs waited a year for vindication.

Their aging core was on its last legs, but a new star was set to emerge from this series. The 22-year-old Kawhi Leonard averaged 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds while also being the primary defender on one LeBron James.

He would eventually win finals MVP while leading the Spurs to their first title since 2007.

#1 Spurs win the draft lottery, select Tim Duncan

This is where it all began.

The Spurs have long been a model franchise for a number of different reasons. They have one of the greatest coaches of all-time in Greg Popovich. Their front office is one of the most well-respected in the league at finding diamonds in the rough like Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, and Manu Ginobili with the 57th pick in 1999.

But no other moment was so consequential to their franchise and all of its future success than drafting Timothy Theodore Duncan first overall.