LAS VEGAS — It wasn’t the result Victor Wembanyama wanted, but the No. 1 overall pick put on a better performance in his second summer league game on Sunday night than his debut.
Wembanyama had 27 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks on 9-of-14 shooting, but it wasn’t enough as the San Antonio Spurs couldn’t overcome a double-digit deficit in an 85-80 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I wish we could have won the game,” Wembanyama said. “I think I could have done more to help my team win the game. We got to keep learning. We haven’t been playing our best for like three quarters. Then in the fourth quarter, we were really dominating. It shows the personality of the team.
“I think personally, it’s normal to get better every game. Two days ago was my first game.”
Wembanyama responded after a 2-of-13 shooting performance on Friday night. He also made two of his first three attempts from three-point range, then missed his final attempt in the waning seconds.
San Antonio trailed by 16 points entering the fourth quarter but cut the lead to one on a Wembanyama 3-pointer with 1:58 to go. The Spurs couldn’t get closer than that however.
Wembanyama struggled to get going early but after hitting a pull-up jumper and getting a dunk in the second quarter, things turned around.
“I told him at shootaround this morning, I said ‘We got to get you going early’ and you see what happened,” Spurs guard Blake Wesley said. “He had 27 tonight. When he gets going, he gets on fire.”
The Spurs have three games left in Las Vegas, but it’s unclear if Wembanyama will continue to play.
When speaking after the Spurs’ second summer league practice on June 29, Wembanyama said he was going to play at least one or two games. San Antonio’s next game is on Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards, who drafted Wembanyama’s Metropolitans 92 teammate Bilal Coulibaly with the No. 7 pick in this year’s draft.
“I know I got to talk with Pop,” Wembanyama said when asked if he was going to play more here. “I’m going to listen to what he’s going to say, but I’m ready to make any sacrifice for the team and give 100%.”
Whenever his summer season does end, Wembanyama knows how he wants to spend the next three months before training camp starts — focusing solely on basketball.
“Like this past month, I think basketball wasn’t even 50% of my schedule,” Wembanyama said. “I can’t stand it. I know it’s a special moment in my life, but I’m just glad it’s over honestly. I just want to hoop, workout and lift.”
And he’s prepared to do whatever the Spurs want him to do to get ready.
“I just know that as I’m not playing in the World Cup,” Wembanyama added, “I’ve got two to three months — two to three great months — that are coming up and they’re going to change my life.”