Wembanyama scores 40 points, 20 rebounds as Spurs beat Brunson's 61 points in OT.

San Antonio— The San Antonio Spurs defeated the New York Knicks 130-126 in overtime on Friday after Jalen Brunson scored 61 points and Victor Wembanyama scored 40 points, 20 rebounds, and seven assists.

Wembanyama's 3-pointer gave San Antonio a four-point advantage in OT. He scored 40 points and 20 rebounds, the most by a rookie since Shaquille O'Neal's 46 and 21 on Feb. 16, 1993. The top choice had a blocked shot and a steal in his 39th double-double in 65 games.

“I’ve never seen so much greatness,” Wembanyama stated. “The season has only lasted a few months. I've seen so much excellence and want to join it. I always wanted to, but I'm seeing I can compete with them. Not close, but on the right track. I know it and will get there soon.”

Brunson missed a 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds left in OT to fall one point short of Carmelo Anthony's franchise record of 62 points on Jan. 24, 2014. The window loss washes out the greatness, Brunson remarked. “So it doesn’t matter.” Brunson scored the fifth-most NBA points this season.

“He’s special,” Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo said. I think he's All-NBA. Even though we lost tonight, he showed that he's one of the East's finest guards. He does whatever it takes to win every night. Just almost tonight.” Wembanyama celebrated by screaming and throwing the ball into the stands after stealing it in the dying seconds to win. Will he buy the souvenir?

Nah,” Wembanyama laughed thereafter. “Somebody else will.” Wembanyama helped the Spurs win their first three games of the season, so they should. He will be a terrific player in this game, Brunson remarked. Just his build. His accomplishments so far. I admire him.” Devin Vasell scored 23 points for the Spurs (18-56), who are three wins away from defeating the franchise's worst record of 20-62 in 1997.

With 4:39 left in regulation, DiVincenzo's 3-pointer gave New York its first lead at 113-112. Five ties in normal time forced overtime. DiVincenzo scored 20 points and set a Knicks single-season 3-pointer record with 245. New York (44-29) slipped a half-game behind Cleveland (45-29) for third in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers defeated the 76ers 117-114 on Friday.

Brunson broke his career high of 50 points against Phoenix on Dec. 15. After Tom Thibodeau's uncharacteristically bad defense, the Knicks needed his heroics. After keeping their last 10 opponents to 93.4 points per game, including three under 80, the Knicks handed up 74 first-half points to the Spurs.

“They stayed strong when New York made a heck of a run,” Popovich said. I like that phase of the game most. It exhibits NBA game-winning progression.” San Antonio was one point shy of its season-high 75 first-half points against Phoenix on Nov. 2.

At 6:24 in the first quarter, Wembanyama limping off the court favoring his right leg frightened the Spurs and their fans. He limps to the changing room a minute later. After a tense five minutes, Wembanyama ran back to the bench with two minutes left in the first quarter. Wembanyama launched a driving, scoop layup under Mitchell Robinson's arm a minute into the second quarter after returning.

The Spurs lost Jeremy Sochan in the second quarter with a painful left ankle. The first quarter saw San Antonio lead by 13 points, 38-27. The Spurs are 3-1 when scoring 38 or more points in the first quarter, and it was their first since Dec. 28. Brunson added, “We give them confidence and they were just rolling from the beginning. “I thought we played well after that. We fought. They ran; we ran. The game started poorly, but we continued fighting.”

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