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The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball AssociationThe Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Pacific Division in the league's Western Conference. The Clippers play their home games at Staples Center, which they share with NBA team Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Clippers plan to move into their own arena, the Intuit Dome, in nearby Inglewood by 2024. The franchise was founded as the Buffalo Braves in 1970 as an expansion team. Led by Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo, the Braves reached the NBA playoffs three times during their eight seasons in Buffalo. Conflicts with the Canisius Golden Griffins over the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and the sale of the franchise led to their relocation from Buffalo to San Diego, California in 1978 and subsequent rebranding as the San Diego Clippers, in reference to the sailing ships seen in San Diego Bay. The team saw little success on the court and missed the playoffs during all six of their years in San Diego. In 1984, owner Donald Sterling controversially relocated the franchise to Los Angeles without NBA approval, which was permitted following legal action between the league and Sterling. Over the course of their first 27 seasons in Los Angeles, the Clippers qualified for the postseason only four times and won a single playoff round. They were frequently considered a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the historically successful Lakers. The Clippers' reputation improved during the 2010s, which saw them transform into consistent postseason contenders. Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Paul led the "Lob City" era, alongside other key players such as JJ Redick, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, and Austin Rivers. The team qualified for the playoffs in six consecutive seasons from 2012 to 2017 and won two consecutive division titles in 2013 and 2014, both firsts for the franchise. Despite this success, the Clippers struggled in the postseason and were frequently eliminated in the Conference Semifinals; the team reached the Conference Finals for the first time in 2021. To date, they are the league's oldest franchise to have never played in the NBA Finals.
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio. The Spurs compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA)The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio. The Spurs compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Spurs are one of four former American Basketball Association (ABA) teams to remain intact in the NBA after the 1976 ABA–NBA merger and are the only former ABA team to have won an NBA championship. The franchise has won NBA championships in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014. As of the 2019–20 season, the Spurs had the highest winning percentage among active NBA franchises. As of May 2017, the Spurs had the best winning percentage of any franchise in the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada over the previous three decades. From 1999–2000 to 2016–17, the Spurs won 50 games each season, setting a record of 18 consecutive 50-win seasons. In the 2018–19 season, the Spurs matched an NBA record for most consecutive playoff appearances with 22. The team's recent success has coincided with the tenure of current head coach Gregg Popovich and with the playing careers of Spurs icons David Robinson (1989–2003) and Tim Duncan (1997–2016).