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Spurs Top Knicks In Overtime

New York Knicks v San Antonio Spurs

Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs greets the crowd after they defeated the New York Knicks at Frost Bank Center on March 29, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo: Ronald Cortes / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The Spurs have now won three-in-a-row after picking up a big overtime win over the Knicks last night. Victor Wembanyama scored 40 points as the Spurs beat the Knicks 130 to 126. The Spurs who are now 18 and 56 on the season return to action tomorrow night when they host the Warriors.


Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich:  

(On the resilience of the team after losing the early lead in the game)

“As I’ve said before, all teams lose leads in this league. The three point shot allows for that. But, how you come back from it is important. If it was earlier in the year we would not have sustained our own execution, our own pace and that sort of thing. You can see the maturity that they have developed through the season. Playing a very physical team, they gave what they got and stayed strong when New York made a heck of a run. To me that’s the best part of the game. It shows that progression in what it takes to win a game in the NBA. Thibs’ teams are always tough-minded and execute. [Jalen] Brunson’s amazing. He’s amazing. I thought our guys down the stretch did a good job of hitting him and double-teaming him when we wanted to down the stretch and making other people participate. The rotations behind it had to be pretty good because they got shooters everywhere, basically. I thought the guys reacted pretty damn well, so I’m happy for them.”

(On Jalen Brunson scoring over 60 points and Victor Wembanyama having 40)

“We got it out of his hands a little bit down the stretch, made it tough for him and other guys missed shots. Tough to do that earlier in the game when everybody’s fresh but at the end people can miss shots. To answer your question, I don’t think so. I don’t think I’ve seen that. I think Victor got 20 boards on top of that.”

(On if he forgets Victor is only 20 years old on nights like this)

“I’m sure I do because when you’re looking at a young kid, if he turns it over, he doesn’t catch it strong, I’m on his ass. It just shows what he’s gonna be when he understands all the physicality that’s coming at him all the time and what to do about it. Fortunately, he’s also a hell of an instinctive passer and he’s willing to do what he needs to do in that regard. So, he’s pretty special.” 

(On if the momentum the team is playing with will pay off in the long run)

“Well, one would hope so, sure. That’s how you progress, that’s how you mature, that’s how you have hope, that’s how people feel better about themselves, both individually and as a group. How they react as a group is in some ways more important than the individual, because they’ve all got to come together.”

(On what happened to Jeremy Sochan’s ankle and not having him defensively in the second half)

“I think he just tweaked it. I haven’t heard anything else. I don’t know. I thought when we switched defenders, I thought Jeremy gave him [Jalen Brunson] a little trouble. He’s a heck of a defender, it’s more size on Brunson, that really helped. But then when he went out we were pretty nervous about that. What’re we gonna do with that guy?”

Spurs Forward Victor Wembanyama

(On how he feels after the win)

“Proud of us for controlling the game. Of course, they came back in the third quarter but it's to be expected from a team like this, a contender. We knew how to control the game, so that’s good. Hard fought battle. I feel proud because they are a very good team, especially defensively, so it just shows our progression.” 

(On the crowd)

“The crowd is kind of like the sixth man in those situations. It can feel like hitting a wall when you score, they score, you score, they score and go back and forth like that. We need any type of support we can get.” 

(On if he likes high intensity games like this and if he wants to play in more of them)

“Of course, yeah. I’ve never seen so much greatness before. This season has only been going on for just some months and I’ve just witnessed so much greatness and I want to be a part of it. I always wanted to but [now] more and more, seeing that I’m already able to compete with those guys. I’m not there, but I’m on the right path. I know it and I’m gonna get there one day soon.” 

Spurs Guard Tre Jones

(On if he feels as though tonight’s victory wouldn’t have been possible earlier in the season…)

“Yeah, for sure. That’s a tough team, they’re having a really good year. They're super physical, aggressive. We got out to an early lead, we were shooting the ball really [well] and then shots weren't falling in the third quarter. They got back into the game, but you can feel how it was different than how we were earlier in the year when we let teams back in the game like that. We stayed together as a group. We continued to fight on the defensive end. We didn't drop our heads and knew that offensively we were going to continue to get shots. It was just a matter of time before they started to fall again. That was a tough win for us, for sure. Obviously, [Jalen Brunson] had a crazy game. And, even with that we were able to continue to grind it out down the stretch, tie the game, get stops and win it in overtime.”

(On Victor Wembanyama’s defensive presence…)

“You definitely see the awareness that everybody has for him on the court, especially around the hoop. Doesn't matter who it is, it could be another seven footer, their guards. Doesn't matter. You can see just how much he affects shots around the rim or even decisions around the rim. You got guys not shooting bunnies and layups just because he's right there and they don't know if he's able to get to the shot or not. And that alone affects the game a bunch and then, obviously, the ones he can get to or affect as well. But yeah, just the way that he's able to affect their decision making around the hoop. Sometimes it leads to them not getting a close look, throwing it out, not getting a good shot, then it could lead to shot clock violations, turnovers, so many different things just from him just being in the area.”

(On his personal progression over the course of the season…)

“Continue to try to lead more and more every day. I know that my main role on this team is to be a leader for us on the court. Be an extension of coach on the court at all times. Continue to try to get everybody set in their spots. Our chemistry is growing more and more every single game and we feel that as a team. We know where each other is going to be, we know where to find each other, what spots we're going to be in both offensively and defensively. We're starting to get on the same page with rotations on the defensive end and playing off of [Victor Wembanyama] being able to get to almost every shot inside the three point line and being able to rotate off of that. And then offensively playing off of each other but off of [Devin Vassell] and [Victor Wembanyama] a lot. So, I continue to just try to be a leader. And then obviously my three point shot, I'm continuing to try to improve that. Getting more confidence and taking more of those.”

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