The San Antonio Spurs suffered an excruciating second-half collapse at the hands of the Toronto Raptors, forfeiting a 22-point lead and falling to an impassioned Eastern Conference opponent on Sunday afternoon. Despite crumbling in crunch time, their talented young core showed off several positive signs with Devin Vassell out of commission.
Malaki Branham offered the starters an integral infusion of scoring, Keldon Johnson continued his hot streak from the field, and Victor Wembanyama protected the paint like nobody else in the NBA can. The Parisian phenom recorded a career-high five blocks in the loss, and he also left one of his matchups practically speechless after their first encounter.
Wembanyama defended OG Anunoby for 42.3 partial possessions during the game, holding him to 2-of-6 shooting and making him second-guess his decisions with his massive eight-foot wingspan. The seventh-year forward tried to bulldoze his way to the tin with brute strength, but the rookie swallowed his layup underneath the basket. Victor also erased what looked like a wide-open three.
After struggling to find an ounce of daylight whenever Wembanyama was in the vicinity, it only makes sense that Anunoby only had two words to describe the teenager. While the Spurs list the first overall pick at 7-foot-3, he appears to stand at least a couple of inches taller than his official height. And who in their right mind would want to challenge a skyscraping shot blocker with that much length?
Despite surrendering a comfortable cushion in front of a friendly Frost Bank Center crowd, the Silver and Black will have little time to dwell on their shortcomings. Gregg Popovich and company return to action tonight as they face off with the Tyrese Haliburton and Indiana Pacers on the road in their first back-to-back of the season. Tune in as Wemby takes on another test early in his career.