The San Antonio Spurs ran into a man on a mission in Philadelphia. On Monday night, the Silver and Black had no answer for Joel Embiid. The center scored 70 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. He set the Philadelphia 76ers record for points scored in a single game on the way to a 133-123 win over the Spurs.
If it weren’t for the Spurs making the game competitive for all four quarters, we probably don’t get Embiid’s historic performance. Every time it looked like the Spurs were out of it, they fought back within striking distance. With 2:30 to go in the fourth, San Antonio had a chance to come back, just down nine. However, Embiid shut the door on them, and the Spurs will head back to San Antonio going 1-4 on their east coast road trip.
Chances are if you watch highlights from the game, it will be mostly Embiid’s buckets. Here are some of the Spurs best plays from Monday night.
Spurs 5/5 from the floor, 4/4 from three to start off pic.twitter.com/peRMRGflk5— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 23, 2024
San Antonio started the game hot from three-point range. Julian Champagnie, Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan and Victor Wembanyama all hit threes in the early going. The Spurs couldn’t keep it going, shooting just 31.7% from deep over the course of the full game.
Wembanyama had a great game once again, scoring 33 points, adding in 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. The rookie lived around the rim on lobs.
This drive in the second quarter was one of the most impressive plays of the night for the big man. Using Wembanyama just as a lob threat is like using a super computer to only run Microsoft Word. He has so much offensive talent. Seeing him take wings like Tobias Harris off the bounce like this, then finishing for high flying jams is a glimpse into what his offensive potential holds.
It's just too easy for Victor Wembanyama pic.twitter.com/kjAsgGJk7y— Ahn Fire Digital (@AhnFireDigital) January 23, 2024
This lefty finish from Wembanyama is another example of his offensive versatility. The big man can do so much on the perimeter, and still has the soft touch to get shots like this to go around the basket. As he continues to develop, his creativity and touch around the basket should only improve.
Kelly Oubre Jr. had to check Wemby's height when matching up pic.twitter.com/DKmBDVja20— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 23, 2024
Oh yeah. And he’s extremely tall.
Vassell had quite the game as well. The wing scored 22 points and had 9 assists. He was aggressive getting to the basket, hitting 6-6 of his free throw attempts. Vassell used his length and strong handle to create angles for himself inside. This two-hand flush off the crossover was filthy.
The Spurs will head back home to the Frost Bank Center for a matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder. All eyes will be on Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren for a battle between the leagues best rookies.
Watch the Spurs full game highlights against Philadelphia below.