Brunson’s 61 can’t thwart Wemby (40-20), Spurs


SAN ANTONIO — Victor Wembanyama had a career-high 40 points and added 20 rebounds and seven assists, and the San Antonio Spurs overcame Jalen Brunson’s career-best 61 points to beat the New York Knicks 130-126 in overtime on Friday night.

Brunson finished one point shy of Carmelo Anthony’s franchise record of 62 points on Jan. 24, 2014, missing a 3-pointer that would have given the Knicks the lead with 5.4 seconds remaining in OT.

Brunson had the fifth-highest point total in the NBA this season.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, it’s only the second time in NBA history that one player had a 40-point, 20-rebound game and another had a 60-point game. The other instance came in 1961 when Elgin Baylor scored 63 points and Wilt Chamberlain had 78 points and 43 rebounds.

Wembanyama made a 3-pointer to give San Antonio a four-point lead in OT. He also had a blocked shot and a steal while collecting his 39th double-double in 65 games.

Devin Vasell added 23 points for the Spurs, who won three straight for the first time this season.

New York took its first lead at 113-112 with 4:39 remaining in regulation on a 3-pointer by Donte DiVincenzo. There were five ties in the final minutes of regulation to set up overtime.

DiVincenzo finished with 20 points and set the Knicks’ single-season record for 3-pointers with 245.

New York (44-29) fell a half-game behind Cleveland (45-29) for third in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 117-114 on Friday.

Brunson surpassed his previous career best of 50 points against Phoenix on Dec. 15. The Knicks needed of all his heroics after an uncharacteristic poor defensive effort from Tom Thibodeau’s team.

After holding their previous 10 opponents to 93.4 points per game, including three under 80 points, the Knicks gave up 74 points in the first half to the Spurs.

San Antonio was a point shy of its season high of 75 points in the first half against Phoenix on Nov. 2.

Wembanyama alarmed the Spurs and their fans when he went limping off the court favoring his right leg with 6:24 remaining in the first quarter. He limped back to the locker room a minute later. After a tense five minutes, Wembanyama came sprinting back to the bench with two minutes left in the first quarter.

Wembanyama made the first attempt upon his return, a driving, scoop layup under Mitchell Robinson’s arm a minute into the second quarter.

The Spurs did lose Jeremy Sochan, who exited in the second quarter with a sore left ankle.

San Antonio led by as many as 13 in building a 38-27 lead in the opening quarter. It marked the first time the Spurs have scored 38 points in the opening quarter since Dec. 28, and they are 3-1 when scoring 38-plus.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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