NBA

Wembanyama 'takes over' in Stateside debut to ramp up excitement ahead of 2023 NBA Draft

By Sports Desk October 05, 2022

Victor Wembanyama lived up to his considerable hype in scoring 37 points against Scoot Henderson's G League Ignite.

The French 18-year-old is the top prospect in the 2023 NBA Draft but was yet to play in the United States before Tuesday's game with his Metropolitans 92 team.

Wembanyama had described it as "the biggest game I've played in my life", and he did not disappoint on that stage.

The seven-foot-four forward got to his game-leading points haul on 11-of-20 shooting, including making a remarkable seven of 11 threes. He also had five blocks on the defensive end.

It was not enough to beat the Ignite, with Henderson – the projected number two pick – inspiring a 122-115 win, but a big half-time deficit set Wembanyama up to dominate.

"At some point, it was just about taking over," he explained afterwards. "Our team definitely needed players to step up because we were down [21 points], I think.

"Coming back from such a lead is a tough task, so you've got to take responsibility.

"Three is more than two, so in these times, you've got to do what you've got to do, like taking fast-break threes. You've got to score points as fast as possible."

Henderson finished with 28 points, nine assists and five rebounds and said of his performance: "I feel like I played pretty good. I've still got areas of my game where I feel like I need to get better, for sure, and that's not on the stat sheet."

But the Ignite star was not interested in comparisons with Wembanyama, adding: "I didn't really think about it too much. I was there to win

"They talk, but I wasn't paying attention to all that. I try to stay off social media as much as I can when it comes to comparing and contrasting players.

"I wanted to – I don't really feed into that. I just feed into going into the game 110 per cent and focusing on winning. That was my main goal today, and we got the goal done."

Henderson did add Wembanyama is "a pretty good player", even if "nothing really surprised me".

And Wembanyama was complimentary in return, saying of his fellow prospect: "He's tough to guard – just what I expected.

"I think the biggest point of his game is his aggressiveness. Every time the ball is in his hands, it's something you can feel on the court: he can do something dangerous, he can slash, he can shoot the ball.

"I was surprised in a good way – he's a great player."

Related items

  • Warriors and coach Kerr agree to two-year, $35 million contract extension Warriors and coach Kerr agree to two-year, $35 million contract extension

    The Golden State Warriors and coach Steve Kerr have agreed to a two-year, $35 million contract extension that will make him the highest-paid coach in NBA history, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday.

    The new deal will pay Kerr, who has guided the Warriors to four NBA championships, $17.5 million a year.

    His current deal was set to expire at the end of this season.

    San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich makes more annually, according to sources, but he also serves as the team’s president. Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra signed an eight-year extension that pays him approximately $15 million a season.

    Kerr, 58, is in his 10th season as coach of the Warriors and holds a career regular season record of 501-264 and is 99-41 in the playoffs. He won his 500th game last week to become the fifth-fastest coach to do so in history.

  • Doncic and Irving have proved they work together – Kidd Doncic and Irving have proved they work together – Kidd

    Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have proved any doubters wrong after leading the Dallas Mavericks to a seventh straight win.

    That is the opinion of coach Jason Kidd, whose Dallas team overcame the Phoenix Suns 123-113 on Thursday.

    Doncic had 41 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists, while Irving finished with 29 points.

    Dallas have been without at least one of Doncic or Irving in 27 games this season due to injuries, but the duo have now started in the last seven games.

    "I think it answers the questions that those two co-exist quite well," Kidd said.

    "I think it just shows again, our health, our energy, everything's positive right now. I think the guys are having fun. You can see that energy on the floor.

    "They want to win, and you can see that energy on the floor. Those guys are cheering for one another.

    "There's going to be mistakes, there's going to be missed shots, but it's on to the next play.

    "You can see that. We were on a roll and then we go on [the All-Star] break. Sometimes you can come out flat, but I thought the guys did a great job tonight."

    Devin Booker led the Suns with 35 points, though Phoenix were unable to keep Doncic or Irving down.

    "You just have to know that, especially after he makes one, that the next one is coming up," Booker said of Irving.

    "He's a great player and hard to guard. We definitely could have limited some of those transition looks."

    The Suns have lost two of their last four games, and are now one place below the Mavericks in the Western Conference.

    "We didn't start the third quarter with enough attentiveness," Suns coach Frank Vogel said.

    "We did get a little too stagnant offensively. We had some breakdowns with what we were supposed to do. That led to some tough possessions."

  • NBA: Jokic notches triple-double with perfect shooting in Nuggets' win NBA: Jokic notches triple-double with perfect shooting in Nuggets' win

    Nikola Jokic registered his 16th triple-double of the season and was 10-for-10 from the floor in the Denver Nuggets’ 130-110 win over the reeling Washington Wizards on Thursday.

    Jokic had 21 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists to become the third player in NBA history to record at least one triple-double against every opponent in the league. He had 10 points, 14 boards and nine assists in the first half alone.

    LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are the only other players with a triple-double against every opponent.

    Michael Porter had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Jamal Murray added 18 points and eight assists as the Nuggets returned from the All-Star break and snapped a season high-tying three-game skid.

    Kyle Kuzma tallied 31 points and 13 rebounds, but Washington dropped its ninth straight to match a season high.

    The Wizards shot 38.8 percent from the field and fell to 1-34 against opponents with winning records.

     

    Doncic powers streaking Mavericks

    Luka Dončić scored 41 points and fell a rebound shy of a triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Phoenix Suns, 123-133, for their seventh straight win.

    Doncic handed out 11 assists and grabbed nine boards while shooting 14 of 27 from the field and 6 of 11 from long range. He just missed his 11th triple-double of the season.

    Kyrie Irving scored 13 of his 29 points in the first quarter and restored a double-digit lead for Dallas early in the fourth with a nifty behind-the-back dribble and spin move for a layup.

    Devin Booker scored 35 points and Kevin Durant had 23 but was 9 of 22 from the floor and 2 of 8 on 3-pointers. Phoenix lost for the second time in seven games.

     

    Celtics extend winning streak to seven

    Derrick White scored 28 points and Jayson Tatum added 25 to lead the Boston Celtics to their season-high seventh consecutive win, 129-112 over the Chicago Bulls.

    Jaylen Brown had 21 points and White and Tatum each made five of Boston’s 23 3-pointers as the Celtics padded their lead atop the NBA’s overall standings.

    Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who have lost all three meetings against the Celtics this season.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.