By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially entering the Victor Wembanyama era.
Eager to give the San Antonio Spurs its first winning streak of the NBA season, this year’s prized top Rookie pick exploded at the right time and earned a career-high 38-point outing during the San Antonio Spurs’ 132-121 victory over the Phoenix Suns last November 3, 2023.
With the win, the Spurs are now 2-0 in their first two meetings with the talented Phoenix squad and improved their NBA record to three wins and two losses.
The tower of power, the French slender sniper, San Antonio hero, Wembanmania, call him whatever you want but this kid has been the real deal for the Spurs five games into the NBA season.
In a game where a healthy Devin Booker made his return for the Suns while tallying 31 points and 13 assists, Wembanyama stepped up to the challenge and delivered an efficient all-around performance for the Spurs.
Alongside his 38 points, Wembanyama also made an impact on several aspects of the game and put up 10 rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and a steal.
San Antonio was close to collapsing against the Suns after giving up their 26-point lead in the fourth and final frame.
After getting crushed by the Spurs in the first three quarters, Phoenix finally trimmed their deficit to just single digits after mounting a huge offensive run to get within a point off a Kevin Durant -made three-pointer, 114-113.
Phoenix then completed the comeback after drilling another trey to equalize the ball game at 116-all with 4:25 remaining in the game.
Just when the Suns thought they could weather the storm and avoid another loss on their home floor, Wembanyama single-handedly carried the Spurs in the final 3:23 stretch of the intense duel.
Wembanyama kicked off his clutch performance after slamming the ball over Drew Eubanks that increased their lead to five, 121-116.
Needing a bucket to maintain their lead, San Antonio once again fed Wembanyama and drilled an isolation trifecta to give his team a 126-116 lead with two minutes remaining in the fourth.
Wembanyama then put the icing on the cake after converting a jumper from the top of the key to widen their gap, 128-116.
The French sensation scored San Antonio’s 10 of their last 12 points and showed that he can close games without further help from Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell.
Meanwhile, the Suns will have to regroup after suffering back-to-back losses against San Antonio in three days.
Kevin Durant backstopped Booker’s 31 points with 28 markers, six rebounds, and two blocks but was still not enough to contain the hot-shooting of Wembanyama.