Spurs Beat Rockets, Wemby Has Double-Double


San Antonio Spurs' forward-center #01 Victor Wembanyama celebrates after winning the NBA basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs at the Frost Bank Center in San Antonio.Photo: CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP / Getty Images

The Spurs picked up their first win of the season, topping the Houston Rockets 126-122 at the Frost Bank Center.

Devin Vassell led the Spurs with 25 points. Victor Wembanyama picked up a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Keldon Johnson scored 20 points, Jeremy Sochan added 14 points and Cedi Osman had 14 points.

The Spurs are now 1-1 on the season and go on the road to take on the Clippers on Sunday night.


Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich 

(On if the team showed composure in the final minutes and overtime…)

Absolutely not. We showed some composure and some not so composed. That's a work in progress, but the best thing about it was they were persistent. We got better and better as we adjusted to their physicality. The ball moved better. Our defense improved a little bit. But we were pretty ordinary for about two and a half, three quarters I thought and kicked into gear.”

(On Victor Wembanyama being aggressive at the end of the game…)

“He's a competitor. Of course, he's going to be decisive and do what he thinks he can do to win. But they're all like that. So are the Houston Rockets. That's what these guys do. They're competitive or they wouldn't be where they are.”

(On Jeremy Sochan’s free throw form and clutch free throws at the end…)

I don't know why it was amazing, but he's shooting 78% from the line. Did you know that?”

(On the difference between regulation and overtime…)

“I felt our energy and our competitiveness picked up in the last half of the fourth quarter and during overtime. They played with confidence and with some grit.”

 Spurs Guard Tre Jones

(On his approach to the game… )

“It hasn’t changed really at all. We’re doing everything we can to win, and that starting lineup is ginormous. Jeremy’s running the point really well. He’s still trying to adjust and get comfortable there. Obviously, it’s a little bit of a change for him, but I feel like he’s taking it really well [and] playing really well, too. And that lineup, started pretty good … It took a little bit for us to get going, but as far as my approach goes, I approach every game the same whether I’m starting or not. I’m trying to be as locked in as I can be. Try to have my teammates in the right headspace, make sure we’re all prepared coming into the game, and to set us up to be in the best place possible heading into the game. Prepared and everything.”

(On Victor Wembanyama’s presence affecting momentum …)

“Obviously, we all feel his presence on the floor, and tonight, I feel like on the defensive end, you could really feel it, especially that one possession [he] had a couple of big blocks that changed momentum. They had a wide-open dunk, and he came out of nowhere and got the block and they dumped it off and he turned around and was there to get another block. So defensively, he's all over the place. Offensively, it speaks for itself. We can all see it, how he's settling in. As the game went on, it seemed like it got easier for him. We're also trying to learn how to play with one another. Still trying to figure this thing out. We haven't had a lot of time being on the court together, so we're trying to figure it out. But I think we're doing a pretty good job so far. We're going to keep it moving.”

Spurs Forward Victor Wembanyama

(On how the win feels and his confidence…)

“No, it just proves we got it in us. Those tough moments, reactions. So, I’m, you know, proud of what we did tonight. But it’s now – now we can really see where we can get better, because we haven’t been really pretty for three quarters, you know. So - but, a win is a win. But – yes, it shows that we got a lot of room to grow as a team.”

(On the team’s mentality in the fourth quarter…)

“I think what we lacked for the first three quarters and more, it’s that energy. Cause at some point they were making shots. They were being successful in every play. We didn’t put our head down, but our energy wasn’t – our hype wasn’t as persistent. I think it’s the rotations by the end of the fourth quarter, bringing fresh energy on the court, who managed to keep us in the game and to eventually go to overtime. It’s just a matter of how well we’ll adjust in the next game.”

Spurs Center Zach Collins

(On what changed team momentum in the fourth quarter…)

“I just feel like all night we were going back and forth. We couldn't get a run. We couldn't get anything consistent going on both sides of the ball. We just had to crack down. We knew we couldn't lose this game as a must-win for us, and we just pretty much buckled down, locked in, and we tried to stick to the keys that we worked on all training camp. It worked out for us.”

(On Tre Jones’ performance tonight and his presence on the court…)

“He's a winner man. Ever since I've gotten here, he's got that poise man, and he loves those big moments. He's very calm. He doesn't really, at least in his face, he doesn't show that up-and-down emotion. So, I always say when your point guard looks like that, man, it gives you a lot of confidence. So, it's great.

(On how well the team plays when sharing the ball…)

“When we move the ball, that's how we score. We move it side-to-side. We're a much better team than when we just draw the defense out and wait for a pick or whatever. When everybody's moving on the court and that ball is going left and right. We have a lot of guys that can score and shoot the ball and it makes it easy for us.

Spurs Guard Devin Vassell

“(On what changed execution-wise in the fourth quarter and overtime…)

“I think we just stuck with it. They had the momentum pretty much all game. I don't think we played that great of a game until the last half of the fourth quarter into overtime. We just kept preaching, we just got to stay with it and that's what we did.”

 (On Victor Wembanyama’s play…)

“Big time. Me and him were talking the whole time. We both said we didn't want to lose this game and we knew that we were both going to have to try and take over at some point and fight and that’s what we did. Gave it to him and he forced us to go into overtime … It just goes to show, nothing really slows him down. Nothing really bothers him, and that's the type of player that we need here. It's contagious. It wasn't going well for us the whole game, but we all stuck together and we were able to pull it out.”

(On if the team feeds off the energy from the fans…)

“For sure. It’s huge. Big shout out to the fans. Message to the fans; we appreciate y'all. Can't say enough, the energy that y'all bring out there is amazing. Y’all are the best fans in the world. We need y'all to keep showing out because it's a big season for us and we're just trying to keep getting better.”

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