Wemby show hits Austin; Paris on tap next season



AUSTIN, Texas — The San Antonio Spurs put on quite the show Sunday night in one of their homes away from home.

Playing at the Moody Center just 80 miles up Interstate 35 from the Frost Bank Center, the Spurs stormed back from a 10-point deficit with just under six minutes to play to force overtime and come away with a 122-115 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Victor Wembanyama had 33 points, 15 rebounds, 7 blocks, 7 assists and several clutch plays for San Antonio. He had the go-ahead dunk in overtime as well as a crucial block on Nets guard Dennis Schroder with 25.4 left to help preserve the lead.

It was originally ruled as a goal tend on the floor before officials reversed the call.

“I was pretty sure I had it,” Wembanyama said. “I just asked the ref casually what he thought was wrong. He said backboard first, but I knew it was going to be good.”

Wembanyama became the fourth player in NBA history to finish a game with at least 30 points, 15 rebounds, 7 rebounds and 7 assists since blocks became an official stat in 1973-74, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Charles Barkley and Joel Embiid.

He had 13 of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime, going a combined 6-of-9 from the field. His final basket came with 38.5 to go when he finished an alley-oop from Devin Vassell.

Wembanyama set a screen for Vassell and slipped behind Nets center Nic Claxton, who stepped up to stop a Vassell drive. Vassell hit Wembanyama with a perfect pass, and the 7-foot-4 rookie slammed it home to give the Spurs the lead for good.

“It’s just that moment it finally paid off, our efforts of the game,” Wembanyama said. “I mean, the efforts, hitting guys on screens, rolling hard and being aggressive and making shots for Dev. They had to make a choice. Dev made the perfect read, and it just shows all progress.”

San Antonio has played games in Austin each of the past two seasons and will have a new destination next season, coach Gregg Popovich said.

Asked how important it was to get a win in Austin for the fans, Popovich quipped that wins are nice anywhere, even if it was Timbuktu. Asked whether that was next, he joked that he hoped not. But when Paris was brought up, Popovich said, “Well, we’re going there.”

The NBA hasn’t announced which teams will be playing in Paris next season, but it has long been expected that San Antonio and Indiana would be the teams selected. The NBA has played three regular-season games in Paris since 2020. The league hasn’t said when it will announce the slate of international games for next season.

Wembanyama, who was born in Le Chesnay, France, a suburb of Paris, was excited about the opportunity to go and play near his home.

“I’m looking forward to it very much,” Wembanyama said. “Obviously it’s going to be probably the game or the games that are going to be very important for me because of course it’s me coming back from where I come from, especially might be in my city or around the city. So it’s going to be very special. Also, it is going to allow me to see maybe my family in the middle of the season, which doesn’t happen often. So it’s great.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.



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