NBA regular season

Big games galore: Wembanyama’s 40-20, Spurs trump Knicks, Brunson’s 61-point explosion


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Big games galore: Wembanyama’s 40-20, Spurs trump Knicks, Brunson’s 61-point explosion

DOGFIGHT. San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (1) and New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) battle for a loose ball during the second half at Frost Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

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Super Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama tallies a massive 40-point, 20-rebound game, digging deep to douse Knicks All-Star Jalen Brunson's career-high, 61-point inferno

Victor Wembanyama racked up a career-high 40 points, including the game-sealing 3-pointer with 1:12 to play in overtime, as the San Antonio Spurs held off the visiting New York Knicks 130-126 on Friday (Saturday, March 30, Manila time).

Wembanyama also had 20 rebounds (tying his career best) and seven assists, and the Spurs needed all of it to outlast the effort of New York’s Jalen Brunson, who poured in a career-high 61 points.

The Spurs led by 17 points at halftime but by just three after three periods. New York grabbed the lead for the first time when Donte DiVincenzo hit a 3-pointer with 4:39 to play. The Knicks never trailed again in regulation, with Brunson’s runner with 1:14 to play giving New York a 119-117 advantage.

San Antonio tied it with a pair of free throws by Wembanyama with 24 seconds remaining, sending the same into the extra period.

Tre Jones hit a floater with 3:35 to play in OT before Wembanyama stoked the Spurs’ advantage to 125-121 with 2:56 left. Brunson’s layup cut the margin to one point before Wembanyama canned a 3-pointer to make it 128-124 with 1:12 to go.

Mitchell Robinson’s putback culled New York’s deficit to two points, but Brunson’s 3-point attempt with five seconds left missed, and the Knicks threw away the rebound.

Devin Vassell added 23 points and seven assists for the Spurs (18-56), who won a third consecutive game for the first time this season. Keldon Johnson hit for 17 points.

DiVincenzo scored 20 points for New York (44-29), Josh Hart amassed 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists and Robinson pulled down 12 rebounds as the Knicks had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Brunson missed the Knicks’ record for single-game scoring by one point, as Carmelo Anthony had a 62-point game on Jan. 25, 2014, against the then-Charlotte Bobcats. Brunson became the first New York player to have multiple 50-point games in a season, as he logged 50 vs. the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 15.

Brunson led all players with 21 points before halftime, with Johnson’s 16 points pacing the Spurs.

The Knicks rallied to tie the game at 83 on Brunson’s layup with 5:07 to play in the third quarter, part of his 24-point output in the period. San Antonio led 94-91 heading to the final 12 minutes of play. –

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