NBA

Wembanyama seeking recipe for success as record-breaking display fails to halt Spurs slide

By Sports Desk December 09, 2023

Victor Wembanyama vowed the San Antonio Spurs will continue looking for "a good recipe" after his historic performance failed to prevent his team matching their franchise-record losing run.

At 19 years and 38 days old, the first overall draft pick became the youngest player in NBA history to post a 20-20 game, managing 21 points and 20 assists at home to the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

However, that performance was not enough to prevent a 121-112 defeat as the Bulls rallied after the interval, with Patrick Williams, Demar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic and Coby White all managing 20 points or more for Chicago.

San Antonio has now tied their all-time record losing streak of 16 games, while their 3-18 record is the worst they have ever managed through 21 games of a season.

Wembanyama – whose 20-20 game came when he was four days younger than previous record holder Dwight Howard – says it is still a case of trial and error after he starred from the center position against the Bulls.

"Experimenting in different areas of the game is always something important and interesting to me," Wembanyama said. 

"Every game is different, but we're going to see and try until we find a good recipe.

"When our opponents are down at half, of course they're going to try and have a reaction. We've got to expect that every time, because our first half was pretty solid, especially defensively. 

"There are ups and downs during the game, but we've got to get our downs less and less."

San Antonio's losing steak still stands three games short of that being endured by the Detroit Pistons, who are 2-20 after going down by a 123-91 scoreline against the Orlando Magic, their 19th straight loss.

Franz Wagner scored 27 points and Paolo Banchero added 24 for Orlando, with the Pistons now enduring the longest single-season losing streak in their franchise history and their second-longest overall.

Detroit previously lost 21 in a row across the end of the 1979-80 season and the start of 1980-81.

Though Pistons coach Monty Williams acknowledged the 15-7 Magic are a tough nut to crack defensively, he wasn't happy with his team's offensive efforts.

"They're a good defensive team but we missed a lot of open shots," Williams said after the defeat. 

"They take away the paint, force you to play outside. We generated only 30 threes and just didn't hit a good percentage. We just had a hard time putting the ball in the basket tonight."

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