In the best game of his young NBA career so far, Victor Wembanyama dropped 38 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and blocked two shots to power the San Antonio Spurs to a 132-121 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
The Spurs were quick out of the blocks, outscoring the Suns by 19 in the first quarter alone. They had a 27-point lead at one stage during the first half and went into the break up 75-55.
However, the Suns mounted a comeback in the second half, led by Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. Booker, who had missed the previous three games with a sprained ankle, finished with 31 points, nine rebounds, and 13 assists. Durant added 28 points of his own.
With just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Suns knotted up the game at 116 on a Keita Bates-Diop three-pointer. But the Spurs responded with a 12-0 run, 10 of which came from Victor Wembanyama.
Victor Wembanyama was unstoppable all night, shooting 15-for-26 from the field, including three triples. He also controlled the paint on the offensive end, frequently taking advantage of smaller defenders in the post.
“The NBA’s got the greatest athletes on Earth,” Victor Wembanyama said after the game. “But so far, it’s working out pretty well.”
“Every game, we try to find the sweet spot where we need to hurt them. Today, it might be this way; tomorrow, it might be someone else. It’s how great teams work.”
Durant was full of praise for Wembanyama after the game.
“He’s his own player, person, he’s gonna create his own lane,” Durant said, dismissing comparisons between himself and the Frenchman. “He’s much different than anybody who’s ever played. You can try to compare, but he’s gonna carve out his own lane.”
The Spurs improve to 3-2 with the win, while the Suns drop to 2-3.
Victor Wembanyama’s dominance on display
Wembanyama’s performance against the Suns was a perfect example of his unique skill set. At 7’4″ with a 7’9″ wingspan, he’s simply too big and too long for most defenders to handle. But he’s also incredibly skilled, with a smooth shooting stroke and the ability to handle the ball like a guard.
In the first half, Victor Wembanyama did most of his damage in the post. He used his size and strength to back down defenders and score easy baskets. He also showed off his range, hitting a few jumpers from outside the paint.
In the second half, Victor Wembanyama continued to be a force on offense. He also started to make plays for his teammates, dishing out four assists. He also came up with a few key defensive plays, including a block on Durant in the fourth quarter.
Spurs show resilience
The Spurs showed great resilience in Thursday night’s win. They blew a 27-point lead in the first half, but they didn’t panic. They kept their composure and eventually made the plays they needed to win the game.
Wembanyama’s performance was obviously the biggest story of the game, but the Spurs also got solid contributions from other players. Jeremy Sochan had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Josh Primo added 15 points.
The Spurs are still a young team, but they’re starting to show signs of improvement. With Victor Wembanyama leading the way, they have the potential to be a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.