Wembanyama on fire in Spurs win over Suns as Kevin Durant makes bold prediction
Phoenix, Arizona - French phenomenon Victor Wembanyama poured in 38 points and came up big in the fourth quarter as the San Antonio Spurs held off a late Phoenix rally to beat the Suns 132-121 on Thursday.
The towering 19-year-old then showed plenty of poise after the Suns roared back to tie the game at 116-116 on Keita Bates-Diop's three-pointer with 4:21 remaining.
The Spurs responded with 12 straight points, 10 of them from Wembanyama, who produced three free-throws, a dunk, a three-pointer, and a turnaround jump shot to put San Antonio back in charge.
"Somebody's got to do it," Wembanyama said of taking responsibility at the crucial moment. "Tomorrow it's going to be one of my teammates."
The burst was even more impressive than his highlight-reel dunk in the second quarter and back-to-back three-pointers to end the first half.
In all Wembanyama connected on 15 of 26 shots from the field and pulled down 10 rebounds with two blocked shots to help the Spurs notch their second win in three days over the Suns.
Durant pays Wembanyama a big compliment
Devin Booker, back from an ankle injury, and Kevin Durant scored 31 and 28 points for the Suns, respectively, but their team never managed to gain the lead.
"Of course there was the threat of Durant and Booker, that was our major concern playing the Suns, especially in the fourth quarter," Wembanyama said.
"It worked really well in the first quarter – the energy we brought – so we really tried to find this again, to lock in, know our rotations, our tactics."
Durant, an idol of Wembanyama's, said he didn't think the French youngster's game was too heavily influenced by his own.
"I'm sure he said he watched me growing up, but he's his own player," Durant said. "He's going to create his own lane much different than anybody who's ever played."
Cover photo: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Connect