Victor Wembanyama made his NBA preseason debut in the San Antonio Spurs' 122-121 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft played finished with an impressive 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 threes and a block in just 19 minutes. Wembanyama shot 8-of-13 (61.5%) from the field, 2-of-5 (40%) from three-point range and 2-of-3 (66.6%) from the free-throw line. He also had four turnovers and two personal fouls.
Wembanyama became the first Spurs rookie to record 20 points in a preseason game since DeJuan Blair did so in 2009, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Wemby was matched up against last year's No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren, who had 21 points, 9 rebounds, 2 threes and a block in 16 minutes, while shooting 7-of-10 (70%) from the field, 2-of-2 (100%) from three-point range and 5-of-7 (71.4%) from the free-throw line.
“My best games are when I put energy on the court,” Wembanyama said after the contest, per The Rookie Wire. “I’m a rookie. What I gotta do is play defense and play hard and give it 100%. I gotta be tired when I get subbed out. I was just trying to put energy out at all times.”
"He just went out and played," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said of Wemby. "[There was] no big game plan for him or anything like that. He just played basketball, which he likes to do and is good at.”
Wembanyama had several highlight plays throughout his limited action, including an impressive scoop finish against Holmgren and an and-one where he scored on Holmgren through contact.
He showed off his complete game — making plays with his handle, shooting and defense. You can watch the complete highlights from Wemby's debut above.
The Spurs' next preseason game is Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET at home against the Miami Heat.
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