West Notes: Rockets, Spurs, Victor Wembanyama, Thunder


Guard Fred VanVleet scored 21 points and the Rockets did a fairly good job of keeping Spurs rookie center Victor Wembanyama in check in escaping with a 103-101 win on Tuesday.Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs, Dillon Brooks, Houston Rockets, NBA

“I feel like we followed the game plan until the final minute,” guard/forward Dillon Brooks told reporters. “We wanted to foul and not let them get any shots up on the rim, make them earn it on the free throw line.”

Wembanyama was held to 13 points and 10 rebounds. He scored 11 of those in the final 14 minutes.

“When you’ve got a guy like Wembanyama, we feel like we have three, four really solid defenders that we can throw on him,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. “Guys that are undersized that can kind of move in on him and take him off his spot. (Jae’Sean Tate) came in and did some of the same things that Dillon was doing.”

  • The Rockets have won four straight on the road and are five games behind the Warriors for the 10h seed in the Western Conference.
  • In case you missed it, big man Alperen Sengun is expected to miss the remainder of the season with knee and ankle injuries. We have that full story here.


Wembanyama admittedly faces a new challenge every night but told reporters that going against Brooks, Tate and the Rockets is an especially tall task.

“The physicality, the energy,” Wembanyama said of the Rockets holding him to two points through most of three quarters and 13 overall. “Every night it’s a challenge, but this is a very aggressive team defensively, so this is the most hard.”

  • Tre Jones kept the Spurs in it, leading the way with 22 points. “Tre is a consummate competitor,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s going to do everything he can to win a game. Simple as that. That’s what he does. He’s at his best night after night after night. He’ll do anything that needs to be done.”
  • San Antonio (14-52) must win seven of its final six games to avoid matching the worst record in franchise history of 20-62, set in 1997.


Coach Mark Daigneault said Tuesday’s home loss to the Pacers can serve as a good lesson.

“Just too many possessions where we weren’t leveraging each other and working together, which is a good lesson,” Daigneault told reporters. “You know, the game gets a lot harder when we do that. So again, we got to learn from it, look at it. We’re not going to be perfect every night. There’s lessons in every game. We’re gonna learn them from this one.”

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