The San Antonio Spurs hibernating offense woke up on Monday against the Toronto Raptors. The Silver and Black were red hot offensively, riding that scoring wave to 122-99 blowout victory over the Raptors. It was the Spurs first win of the rodeo road trip and snapped a seven-game losing streak.
They were led by an epic performance from Victor Wembanyama. Toronto had no answer for the rookie on offense nor defense. He posted his second triple-double this season, with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks. He’s the first player to post a triple-double with blocks since Clint Capela did so in 2021.
After a few off games in which the rookie looked fatigued, Wembanyama was rejuvenated in Toronto. He was everywhere defensively, blocking shots that had no business getting touched, like a dunk from Scottie Barnes. Offensively he was efficiently aggressive – hunting down mismatches and taking open jumpers. he shot 10-14 from the field and 2-4 from the three-point line.
He wasn’t the only Spur who showed up defensively. The whole team was on a string all night, and played with more physicality than they’ve shown lately. Jeremy Sochan was dominant guarding the Raptors All-Star, Barnes.
“I was really proud of him tonight,” Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich said. “He took on the challenge. Scottie is one hell of a player and he did a good job on him all game.”
Barnes was held to 7 points on 3-15 shooting from the field. He finished the game with 9 rebounds and 9 assists as well. The Raptors as a whole struggled offensively, shooting just 39.8% from the field and 25.8% from deep. They couldn’t take care of the basketball either. Toronto had 19 turnovers and allowed 32 points off those giveaways.
San Antonio thrived in the open court, capitalizing on the Raptors mistakes. While they create chaos defensively, offensively they were smooth. They executed their half court sets to get shooters easy looks. They found cutters and rollers on easy drive to the basket. With 37 assists, it was truly a team effort. That offensive efficiency translated to the stat sheet, as the Spurs shot 52.9% from the field and 36.7% from deep.
The supporting cast around Wembanyama played especially well. Sochan was a menace around the basket, finishing with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Devin Vassell got going in the half court, getting downhill and knocking down threes. He finished with 25 points and 6 assists, making 5 of his 7 three-pointers. Tre Jones did a little bit of everything, operating as the lead ball-handler and initiator on offense, finishing with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists.
Grady Dick was the only opposing player who was able to find his rhythm, leading the Raptors with 18 points. He knocked down four deep balls in his 22 minutes off the bench.
The Spurs will head back to Texas for a matchup with Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Valentines Day. Fans back in San Antonio would love to see them start a winning streak before the all-star break.
- Tre Jones notched his 1,000th assist on Monday night. Only two Spurs selected in the second round have reached that achievement – Jones and Manu Ginobili.
- Wembanyama seemingly joins elite company every time he touches the floor. He is the fourth rookie to post a triple-double with blocks, joining David Robinson (1990,) Ralph Sampson (1983) and Mark Eaton (1983.) He’s the fifth player in NBA history to record a 25+ point, 10+ rebound, 5+ assist and 10+ block game. He joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robinson and Sampson.
- Blake Wesley continues to be a key contributor off the Spurs bench. He finished Monday’s contest with 10 points, 2 assists and a steal. His energy is great and he’s getting better making decisions with the ball in his hands. He made some timely cuts getting to the basket and finished well inside.