Wembanyama has 1st NBA triple-double

TALENT. San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (right) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Detroit. /
TALENT. San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (right) is defended by Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Detroit. / AP

VICTOR Wembanyama looked like the biggest playmaker in the world, setting up teammates with slick passes on the break and in the post.

The 7-foot-3 French rookie phenom had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double in the NBA, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 130-108 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick last summer, pulled off the feat in just 21 minutes. In NBA history, only Russell Westbrook had double digits in points, rebounds and assists faster in a 20-minute performance for Oklahoma in 2014.

“Doing it in a win is everything, of course,” Wembanyama said. “I didn’t know it was the second-fastest in NBA history. It matters to me. I’m not the type to talk for nothing. This is the kind of statement we want to make as a team, and this is type of statement I want to make as a player.”

The 20-year-old Wembanyama is the youngest player in the league to have a triple-double without a turnover, since that statistic was recorded during the 1977-78 season. Andre Iguodala was a year older when he did it in 2005 with Philadelphia.

“We’re asking him to do a lot, and he’s ready for it,” Spurs guard Devin Vassell said.

Wembanyama was 6 of 16 from the field, missing all four of his 3-point attempts, and surpassed his previous season high of seven assists.

“He’s just a very good passer,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He was a good passer before he got here.”

Wembanyama’s latest sensational game was against the franchise that was hoping to land him. Detroit had the league’s worst record last season, but didn’t get the first pick in the draft lottery.

“It’s weird to imagine a different future and what it could been,” he said.

The Spurs (6-30) entered the game with the second-worst record in the NBA, with only the lowly Pistons behind them, and a five-game losing streak.

“It’s just starting to click a little more,” San Antonio guard Tre Jones said.

Detroit (3-35) has lost six consecutive games since breaking its NBA record-tying 28-game losing streak.

“The focus and discipline wasn’t there,” coach Monty Williams said. “There’s nobody to look at other than me, not having guys ready to play.”

San Antonio took control in the first quarter with a 31-19 lead and the Pistons didn’t put up much of a fight the rest of the night.

“It’s a lack of energy and effort,” said Detroit center Jalen Duren, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds. “We’re the type of team where we need energy the whole game.”

The Spurs had eight players score in double figures, including Keldon Johnson with 17 points and Devin Vassell with 16.

Detroit’s Jaden Ivey scored 19 points, missing 11 of 18 shots, and Bojan Bogdanovic also had 19 points.

The Pistons were without point guard Cade Cunningham, who is expected to be out for another week with a strained left knee strain.

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