NBA

NBA: Wembanyama sits out Spurs' loss to Rockets

By Sports Desk October 17, 2023

On a night the San Antonio Spurs rested 2023 No. 1 overall draft pick Victor Wembanyama, the Houston Rockets got good contributions from their top two rookies on Monday.

Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore each scored 15 points to help the Rockets to a 99-89 preseason victory over their Texas rivals with Wembanyama looking on from the bench in street clothes. 

Thompson, the fourth overall pick in this year's draft, added two steals in 21 minutes. Whitmore, taken 20th overall, scored 11 of his points in the fourth quarter as Houston outscored the Spurs by a 36-13 margin in the final period to erase a 13-point deficit.

Zach Collins led San Antonio with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Elsewhere in the NBA, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker each had 19 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 117-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Durant finished 6 of 10 from the field while Booker made four of six shots from 3-point range to help stake Phoenix to a commanding 76-54 half-time lead.

In Brooklyn, Kelly Oubre Jr. led all players with 21 points and the Philadelphia 76ers never trailed in a 127-119 win over the host Nets.

Philadelphia also received 18 points each from Tobias Harris and Paul Reed, while De'Anthony Melton posted a 15-point, 10-assist double-double in a game where the 76ers held out reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid.

Former Sixer Ben Simmons had nine assists and three steals for Brooklyn, but committed eight of the Nets' 27 turnovers on the night.

In Indianapolis, Tyrese Haliburton and Aaron Nesmith each had 15 points as the Indiana Pacers held on for a 116-112 win over Atlanta to hand the Hawks their first loss in four games this preseason.

Saddiq Bey finished with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting along with 10 rebounds for Atlanta, which trailed by as many as 29 points but cut its deficit to four in the final minutes. 

 

 

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    The Mavericks came back from an 18-point deficit to tighten their grip on the series, with Doncic leading the way. The five-time All-Star ended the game with 32 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, becoming just the fourth player in NBA history to manage four triple-doubles across a five-game postseason span.

    Kidd hailed Doncic's game-winning impact, saying there was no other option but to try and get him the ball when deciding what play to run during the timeout with 13 seconds remaining

    "As you've seen, he loves that stage," Kidd told reporters. "He doesn't run from it. He made a big shot. Luka is special. He loves those type of moments.

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    Doncic believes the comeback, the Mavericks' third-biggest in their postseason history, was down to his team's mindset as he ruthlessly snatched the game away from the Timberwolves.

    "Like I always say, stay together, positive energy," Doncic explained. "We believed until the end.

    "I just saw some space and decided to shoot a 3. Get to my spot, step back. That's it."

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    The Celtics won 126-110 on Thursday to move two games ahead in their Eastern Conference finals series against the Pacers.

    Indiana were also dealt a blow when star player Tyrese Haliburton suffered a hamstring injury, which the Pacers will wait agonisingly on.

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    Pacers coach Rick Carlisle added: "We'll know more [on Friday] and then probably more Saturday."

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