OKLAHOMA CITY— In a preseason clash that lived up to its billing, San Antonio Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chet Holmgren put on a performance that left no doubt about their future in the NBA.
Holmgren, the Thunder’s 7-foot-1 center, notched 21 points and nine rebounds in just 16 minutes of first-half action. On the other side, Wembanyama, the Spurs’ 7-foot-4 sensation, tallied 20 points and five boards in 19 minutes, primarily in the first half.
The Thunder edged out the Spurs 122-121 on Monday night.
High Draft Picks Make Their Mark
Wembanyama, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and Holmgren, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 Draft, didn’t disappoint. Holmgren, who missed all of last season due to a foot injury, seemed eager to make up for lost time.
Versatility on Display
Both players showcased a wide array of skills, from ball-handling to three-point shooting. Holmgren was aggressive from the get-go, scoring five points in the opening three minutes.
Wembanyama, meanwhile, grew more assertive as the game progressed, punctuating his performance with a two-handed dunk and a key block against Jalen Williams, last season’s All-Rookie selection.
Wembanyama’s aggressiveness paid off, as he helped the Spurs build a 65-48 lead. However, the Thunder clawed their way back into the game with a 21-12 run, setting the stage for a nail-biting finish.