Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama’s historic performance draws ‘generational’ Nic Claxton reaction.

Wembanyama showed out and Claxton was impressed.

Photo: Nic Claxton with brain exploding emojis around him looking at Victor Wembanyama in action in Spurs jersey

It seemed nearly impossible for Victory Wembanyama to live up to expectations entering his rookie season. Not only did the San Antonio Spurs No. 1 pick show Sunday why he was the most hyped prospect since LeBron James, but he proved that he can live up to it.

Wembanyama put on a dazzling display of tough shotmaking, passing, rim protection, and rebounding during a 122-115 overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets. He finished with 33 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocks on 14-of-26 shooting. The 20-year-old joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as only the second player in NBA history to record a 33-15-7-7 game.

Nets center Nic Claxton did all he could to match up with Wembanyama, whose 7-foot-4 frame made him look like a small forward from the TV broadcast’s perspective. Claxton reacted to the French phenom’s historic performance following the Brooklyn defeat.

“Man, he’s a generational talent, for sure,” Claxton said. “Affecting the game in every facet, knocking down shots, coming off screens, just doing things you’ve never seen from a guy at his height.”

Wembanyama’s impact grew when the Spurs needed him most. Trailing 105-98 with five minutes remaining in regulation, he scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting while blocking two shots over the final 10 minutes. He sealed the win with an acrobatic block on Dennis Schroder in the final minute of overtime.

San Antonio closed on a 17-7 run to snatch the victory away from Brooklyn.

“Just his height, his length, impacting the rim. When we drive he’s coming over late and still blocking the shot. Just the way he alters our shots at the rim,” Nets guard Cam Thomas said of Wembanyama’s impact. “Then if we switch [on defense], then he gets on one of the smalls, and there’s really nothing we can do; he’s just too tall… His paint points, that’s what really killed us.”

For the season, Victor Wembanyama is averaging 20.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists on 46.7 percent shooting. He’s flashed his floor-spacing potential, converting 32.7 percent of 5.2 three-point attempts per game. The rookie has already emerged as one of the NBA’s most dominant defenders, leading the league with 3.5 blocks per game, along with 1.3 steals.

Sunday’s performance was just another checkmark in the first chapter of Wembanyama’s NBA journey. Despite his elite numbers, the Spurs star feels he’s just scratching the surface of his potential.

“It’s a day-by-day thing, but what’s for sure is I’m not even close to being at my best,” he said following Sunday’s win. “I don’t see my progression stopping anytime soon. So it’s good for confidence. And there’s a lot to correct, a lot to adjust.”

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