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.

San Antonio Spurs star Victor Wembanyama (c.) scored 38 points in his team's win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
San Antonio Spurs star Victor Wembanyama (c.) scored 38 points in his team's win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.  © USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Connect

Wembanyama, the number one draft pick playing in his fifth NBA game, notched 20 points in the first half as the Spurs pushed their advantage to as many as 27 on the way to a 75-55 lead at the break.

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.

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"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

The Phoenix Suns' Kevin Durant (r.) praised Wembanyama's impact and tipped the French star to achieve big things in the game.
The Phoenix Suns' Kevin Durant (r.) praised Wembanyama's impact and tipped the French star to achieve big things in the game.  © USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Connect

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."

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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

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