The Spurs have tied a franchise record with 16 straight losses, ruining the double-double of 21 points and a whopping 20 rebounds from rookie center Victor Wembanyama in Friday’s game against the Bulls.
For the record, Wembanyama, 19, became the youngest player in NBA history to record a double-double. That may be why Bulls guard/forward DeMar DeRozan, a former Spur, told reporters he thinks San Antonio will eventually be OK.
“They’ve got everything else,” DeRozan said. “Experience really becomes a critical thing late in the game and in certain key moments throughout the game. That goes a long way for a young team like that. They’re going to have it. They’re going to get it. The experience that they’re gaining. I know it sucks for them right now losing, but with that you gain experience and understanding of what it takes to be winners and what it takes to close out games.”
Wembanyama finished with four blocks, including one on a shot by DeRozan.
“Man, hey listen, I didn’t know where he was coming from, even if wasn’t by me,” DeRozan said. “He’s going to be a scary defender just affecting people’s shots down there, even if he doesn’t get a hand on them. Just the way he affects everybody coming down there, coming out of nowhere. The first layup, I didn’t know where he came from, and he blocked it. You definitely have to be aware.”
“We’ve got a bunch of competitors on the team, guys that don’t back down, guys that want to be great at the end of the day,” Gilgeous-Alexander told reporters. “And we all know that to be great, you got to test yourself against the great. Obviously, that’s a dynasty that came in here today, and it’s just been multiple games like that this year. When we play the best of the best, we rise to the challenge.”
- Rookie forward/center Chet Holmgren made three free throws with 7.7 seconds left in regulation to tie the game after he was fouled on a 3-point attempt. “That’s who he is,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “He’s gutsy. He does whatever it takes to win.”
It’s been quite a turnaround in Houston, as the Rockets got their first road win in nine tries on Friday — over the defending champion Nuggets, no less.
“It goes a long way,” forward Dillon Brooks told reporters of ending the road slide. “It gives us confidence and reassurance that we can win on the road, and figure out how to win on the road with everything going haywire in the fourth quarter.”