NBA No. 1 pick Wembanyama has 27 points, 12 rebounds in a loss

Victor Wembanyamathe first pick in the NBA draft, scored a team-high 27 points with a game-high 12 rebounds in an NBA Summer League loss to Portland (Patrick T. Fallon)” src=”https: //–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU4NQ–/″ data-src=”https:/ ” />
San Antonio’s Victor Wembanyama, the first NBA draft pick, scored a team-high 27 points with a team-high 12 rebounds in an NBA Summer League loss to Portland (Patrick T. Fallon)

Victor Wembanyama, the NBA’s first draft pick, showed improvement Sunday in his second game with San Antonio, scoring 27 points in an 85-80 NBA Summer League loss to Portland.

The 19-year-old French center, who is 7ft 4in (2.24m), was touted as the NBA’s hottest prospect since LeBron James 20 years ago, but received red flags during his first game against the NBA. Talent.

This time though, Wembanyama grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, blocked three shots, and stole in just under 27 minutes from the field. He sank 9 of 14 shots from the floor, 2 of 4 from 3-pointers and 7 of 12 from the free throw line.

“It’s been a tough game for us,” said Portland goaltender Michael Devoe, who scored a game-high 29 points.

“We just wanted to be physical with him and try to get him to do hard hits on us. He did a great job, but I think defensively we did a great job as well.”

In his Friday debut, Wembanyama struggled with nine points, eight rebounds, five blocked shots and three assists in just over 27 minutes as Spurs beat Charlotte 76-68. He only made 2 of 13 shots from the floor and only 1 of 6 from 3-point range.

Against the Trail Blazers, Wembanyama seemed more comfortable with Spurs’ offensive patterns, which he felt was a problem in his opener, and was able to dunk and grab offensive rebounds.

Wembanyama sank a late 3-pointer to lift Spurs in the 79-78 with 1:58 remaining, but Devoe answered with a 3-pointer for Portland and Spurs never came closer, leaving both clubs with record 1-1.

The event, featuring top young prospects trying to earn a spot on NBA rosters, marks Wembanyama’s debut in a Spurs uniform and a preview of what he could face against more veteran competition when the NBA regular season will begin in October.

It’s unclear if or when Wembanyama will play in the Summer League again, with the French rookie saying he didn’t expect to play more than two matches in Las Vegas.

Spurs’ next Summer League game is Tuesday against Washington and another Friday against Detroit.

Portland guard Scoot Henderson, third in the NBA draft, sat out after suffering a right shoulder injury in the Blazers’ opener against Houston, spoiling a highly publicized game against Wembanyama.

“I feel good,” he said. “Always day to day.”

There was good news on Saturday for Wembanyama when Spurs announced that 74-year-old coach and president of basketball operations Gregg Popovich had signed a new five-year contract with the club.

He is the longest-serving coach in American sport, guiding the Spurs to five NBA titles and Team USA to Olympic gold in Tokyo.

Popovich also has experience with the big men, having coached top draft picks David Robinson and Tim Duncan, and global talent, having mentored French guard Tony Parker and Argentine playmaker Manu Ginobili.


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