Victor Wembanyama’s 40-20 game takes Spurs rookie closer to ‘unique’ goal

Victor Wembanyama’s latest statistical feat leads the Spurs to a thrilling overtime victory vs. the Knicks.

Image: Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs logo, New York Knicks logo

Victor Wembanyama added the latest headline to what’s already been a stellar rookie season. In scoring 40 points and grabbing 20 rebounds in a 130-126 overtime victory vs. the New York Knicks, the generational talent continued to live up to that description. He’s the second youngest player in league history to record a 40/20 game and the first NBA player to do it, period, since 2022.

Wemby told ClutchPoints it’s the kind of night he covets, not expects.

“It’s not the goal, but it still shows things. It still shows progress. The more of those accolades I can get, the more I will get,” the top pick in last summer’s draft said.

“Of course, it’s always one of my convictions to be always unique and different and do things never seen before.”

The 40 points marked an NBA career-high for Wembanyama, who also managed seven assists, in leading the now 18-56 Spurs over a New York team that started the night third in the Eastern Conference.

Victor Wembanyama remembers the last time

Friday’s meeting with the Knicks marked San Antonio’s first since November 8th. In his eighth NBA game, Wemby managed just 14 points on 4/14 shooting in blowout loss at Madison Square Garden.

“I think about the first time we played a team every night,” Victor Wembanyama admitted.

“The Knicks was a tough game for us and a game that embodied a lot of our weaknesses that we’ve been able to erase throughout the season more and more. This is the type of contrast we want to see in the season. I wouldn’t expect less of us. We’re a young team, we need to get better every night.”

Wembanyama matched his point total from that 126-105 setback in the first half of Friday’s match-up against a New York team that got 61 points from Jalen Brunson.

Wemby rebounds from early knee issue

San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) and a fan react after an overtime victory over the New York Knicks at Frost Bank Center
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
The French phenom left the game in a limp with 6:24 in the first quarter.

“I was just hit in the knee pretty hard. I was hit on the bone so it just hurts, but nothing bad,” Wemby, who exited the court a minute later, said.

“The only reason I couldn’t get immediately back in the game is because when you have pain, the muscle doesn’t respond as well so it needs to wake up a little to avoid injury.”

With two minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Wembanyama sprinted back toward the bench.

“Yeah, of course,” he answered when asked if he could hear the Frost Bank Center crowd roar when he reemerged.

Có thể là hình ảnh về 3 người, mọi người đang chơi bóng rổ, áo bóng rổ và văn bản

The 7-foot-4 center had already missed a game earlier in the week, an upset win of the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

Victor Wembanyama is just getting started

55 years his elder, Wemby’s Hall of Fame head coach admitted that his 20-year-old center’s play causes him to forget just how young his young star is.

“I’m sure I do. Because when you look at a young kid, if he turns it or or he doesn’t catch it strong, I’m on his a** and then you look at the stats and you go, ‘What are you, crazy?’” Gregg Popovich continued.

“It just shows what he’s going to be when he understands all the physicality that’s coming at him all the time and what to do about it. Fortunately, he’s also a hell of an instinctive passer that he’s willing to do what he needs to do that in regard. He’s pretty special.”

John Drew, who was 39 days younger than Wembanyama when he did it, scored 44 points and secured 20 rebounds in 1974. It’s the kind of mark Victor Wembanyama targets.

“I’ve never seen so much greatness before and the season has been going on for just some months,” he said of the NBA. “I want to be a part of it. I always wanted to, but more and more seeing that I’m already able to compete with those guys. I’m not near but I’m on the right path and I know it. I’m going to get there one day soon.”

“Soon,” gets closer with every game.

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy - © 2024 News