Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Winningest Duos in NBA Playoff History

by Rob Joyce

April 24, 2018 - 2:14 pm
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Sunday was a throwback for San Antonio, who staved off elimination (for at least one game) with a 103-90 victory against Golden State. LaMarcus Aldridge’s 22 points led the Spurs, but it was Manu Ginobili that stole headlines, with 16 points off the bench. He’s the fourth player aged 40 or older to score at least 16 points in NBA history, and he and teammate Tony Parker set a league record.

In 16 seasons together, the duo now has 132 playoff wins together, the most in NBA history. Here’s an updated list of the top five ever heading into Tuesday:

1) Tony Parker & Manu Ginobili – 132 wins:

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Both are role players at this point, but with eight All-Star appearances, six All-NBA nods and, of course, the four titles they helped bring the Spurs, both should find themselves in the Hall of Fame one day. Until then, each offseason will bring along questions of retirement. It’s possible both return this fall, but enjoy the moments while you can.

2) Tony Parker & Tim Duncan – 131 wins:

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Parker broke his own record set with another legend in Tim Duncan. The Big Fundamental, of course, anchored all five Spurs championships and was a 15-time All-Star in his career. He was the Finals MVP on three of those five occasions, while Parker took the honors in 2007.

3) Manu Ginobili & Tim Duncan – 126 wins:

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Getting sick of the Spurs yet? There’s a reason San Antonio made the playoffs 21 straight seasons. In fact, all three of the mentioned win totals could have been higher had Ginobili not been hurt in 2009. Limited to 44 games in the regular season, Ginobili missed the playoffs as the three-seed Spurs were bounced in five games by Dallas.

Of course, there’s also one other bond between Parker, Ginobili and Duncan: Gregg Popovich, whose 167 playoff victories rank third all-time behind only Pat Riley and Phil Jackson.

4) Kobe Bryant & Derek Fisher – 123 wins:

Photo by Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Sipa USA

Together the backcourt duo won five championships with the Lakers in the 2000s. Naturally Kobe was the far more productive player, twice winning Finals MVP and averaging 25.6 points per game for his playoff career. But Fisher had plenty of memorable moments himself, most notably his game-winner with 0.4 seconds left to stun the Spurs in 2004.

5) Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen – 117 wins:

Photo by TB/ Sipa

When you win six titles together, the wins pile up quickly. The key cogs in both Bulls three-peats, Jordan and Pippen likely would top the list had a few circumstances been different. For one, had Jordan not retired, it’s fair to assume the Bulls win more than 11 playoff games combined in 1993 and 1994. Secondly, the NBA went from a best-of-five first round format to a best-of-seven in 2003. That alone cost Jordan and Pippen 10 wins.

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