Victor Wembanyama becomes first rookie since 1990 to record triple-double with blocks


In one of the most memorable nights of his increasingly special rookie season, Victor Wembanyama delivered one of his most impressive two-way performances of the season for the San Antonio Spurs.

Wembanyama had 27 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks, as his team beat the Toronto Raptors 122-99 on Monday night. Wembanyama played just 29 minutes.

Wembanyama was a defensive menace, guarding Raptors starting centre Jakob Poeltl multiple times, as well as backup Kelly Olynyk and star forward Scottie Barnes. This was Wembanyama’s second triple-double of the season, but his first with blocks. He previously topped out at eight blocks against Memphis on Nov. 18.

GO DEEPER

Even with restrictions, Victor Wembanyama’s adjustment to the NBA has been lickety-split

“He did a little bit of everything. Obviously, he’s an all-around talented player,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “He had a great feel for the game, and it showed in a variety of ways — whether it’s passing or making decisions, blocking shots, it doesn’t matter.”

Wembanyama blocked the first shot of the game, a layup attempt from Poeltl, hitting a 3-pointer going the other way. That set the tone for dominance.

“I had to make that extra effort tonight because less and less people will go at me,” he said. “Yeah, intimidation, I can see it happening.”

This was the first triple-double with points, rebounds and blocks in the league since Jan. 22, 2021, when Clint Capela recorded one for the Atlanta Hawks. Wembanyama is the first player to record a 20-point triple-double that included blocks since March. 11, 2018, when Anthony Davis had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks for the New Orleans Pelicans. He is the first rookie with such a game since David Robinson, who had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks for the Spurs on Feb. 23, 1990. He joins Robinson (who had three) and Ralph Sampson as the only rookies to ever record a 20-point triple-double with blocks.

Wembanyama is now averaging 20.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 48 games this season.

“I guess it’s not on the scouting report that he’s blocking shots,” Spurs swingman Devin Vassell said. “I guess they’ll learn one of these days.”

Required reading

(Photo: John E. Sokolowski / USA Today)





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