Unstoppable Wembanyama leads Spurs to victory over Thunder! Find out how they snapped their losing streak!

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama highlighted the breaking of a five-game skid by shouting an explanation into a live microphone to let Spurs fans know how much he missed playing in front of them.

“I think just let him be him,” San Antonio point guard Tre Jones said, laughing. “We don't want to change that. Look where it has gotten you to this point.”

Good strategy given the 20-year-old's historic start.

Wembanyama had 28 points and 12 rebounds, Devin Vassell also scored 28 points and the Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 132-118 on Thursday.

Wembanyama added seven assists, five blocks and two assists while going 9 of 17 from the field and 5 of 7 on three-pointers while playing the entire fourth quarter.

He is the first player in NBA history with 10 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and five triples in a game.

“It's very mental,” Wembanyama said. “You know, Kobe (Bryant, the late Los Angeles Lakers star) said that to win a game, you mainly need shots, big shots, because they don't call fouls. It's not so much the physical battle. Although in defense it is 90 percent effort, in offense it is a lot of mental effort.”

San Antonio returned to the Frost Bank Center after finishing 1-8 at its annual Rodeo Road Trip.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points for Oklahoma City. Jalen Williams added 23 and Chet Holmgren had 23.

Oklahoma City (41-18) fell one game behind Minnesota (42-17) atop the Western Conference. The Spurs (12-48) are last in the West, but they beat the Timberwolves and Thunder in the last month.

“It's just another reminder that this is the NBA,” Holmgren said. “No team is in the NBA for no reason. No player is in the NBA for no reason. Any team can beat another team on any given night regardless of their record or anything. They came out confident. Part of it was them, part of it was us. “We should be better next.”

Jeremy Sochan added 21 points after failing to score in the Spurs' previous game.

Wembanyama scored consecutive 3-pointers in the final 3 1/2 minutes with a blocked shot that he caught with his hand on Chet Holmgren's two-point attempt at the top of the key.

“He's obviously not afraid to put himself out there,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “He will get shot and he is not afraid. He doesn't care if he misses it or what the consequences will be or anything like that. He likes those moments.”

Holmgren had an advantage in the battle between the Rookie of the Year candidates. Holmgren scored a three-pointer in the opening minutes when Wembanyama attacked with his right arm fully extended. Wembanyama was limited to one rebound and missed his first two attempts while Holmgren defended.

The centers traded plays after that, including a series of possessions in the opening minutes of the second quarter.

“They came out with a lot of confidence,” Holmgren said. “A lot of guys stepped up and made big shots. Thanks to them for coming ready to play.”

Wembanyama lowered his shoulder to beat Holmgren and score with a short shot. Holmgren followed with a pick to lose to Wembanyama for an uncontested dunk. Wembanyama then scored a three-pointer on Holmgren.

As for his post-match slip, Wembanyama laughed and said he's still adjusting.


Thunder: In Phoenix on Sunday night.

Spurs: Host Indiana on Sunday night.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

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