The San Antonio Spurs have won four NBA championships, made 32 playoff appearances, and captured 18 division titles in their 40-year history.
Yet for all their success, they had never opened a season with four straight victories.
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and the Spurs finally did so Monday night in San Antonio, rolling past the Indiana Pacers, 101-79, to remain unbeaten.
‘‘I'm surprised we’re still doing records,’’ Parker said. ‘‘It seems like we did everything, but that’s another one. That’s great.’’
It’s an unprecedented start for San Antonio, albeit one that left players scratching their heads.
‘‘It’s just a stat, not that important in the long term,’’ Manu Ginobili said. ‘‘[But] at this point we are enjoying it. It’s curious that a team this successful hasn’t started that well before.’’
The Spurs upended the Pacers (2-2) with what has become a familiar formula in recent years — a little Parker, a little Duncan, and a lot off the bench.
Gary Neal scored 17 points, DeJuan Blair 14, and Stephen Jackson 12 to pace San Antonio’s reserves. The Spurs bench outscored the Pacers bench, 57-35.
‘‘That’s kind of been our motto,’’ Neal said. ‘‘With Manu coming off and Stephen Jackson, those guys could be starting on any team in the NBA. We are a deep team. We've just got to maintain effort when the bench comes in.’’
Duncan added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Parker finished with 6 points, 7 assists, and only 1 turnover.
George Hill led Indiana with 15 points.
Knicks 110, 76ers 88 — Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and JR Smith had 17 to lead visiting New York to its first 3-0 start since the 1999-2000 season.
The Knicks beat the Sixers, 100-84, on Sunday in the opener of the home-and-home series. The Knicks busted open Monday’s game in the third quarter, stretching the lead to 21 points.
They got a surprising third quarter from 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace, who scored 8 points and hit a couple of 3-pointers, including a 26-footer at the buzzer to end the period.