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Wembanyama's big night trumps Brunson's 61 points in Spurs win over Knicks

LOS ANGELES – Sensational San Antonio rookie Victor Wembanyama scored 40 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to help the Spurs withstand a stunning 61-point performance from New York's Jalen Brunson in a 130-126 overtime victory over the Knicks on Friday (Saturday Manila time).

French star Wembanyama became the first rookie to record a 40-point, 20-rebound game since Shaquille O'Neal had 46 and 21 in 1993.

The 20-year-old added seven assists, two steals and a blocked shot as he and the Spurs spoiled a career night for Brunson — who finished one point shy of the Knicks' franchise record of 62 points in a game, set by Carmelo Anthony in 2014.

The scintillating show in San Antonio overshadowed Minnesota's 111-98 victory over the reigning champion Denver Nuggets that vaulted the Timberwolves into a tie for the Western Conference lead, alongside the Oklahoma City Thunder — which beat the Phoenix Suns, 128-103.

The Nuggets dropped from first to third, one half-game behind the Timberwolves and Thunder.

Brunson notched the fifth-highest points total of this high-scoring season, but he missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds left in overtime.

Wembanyama's 3-pointer with 1:12 left in overtime had put the Spurs up 128-124.

After Spurs guard Tre Jones made two free-throws with 1.1 seconds left, Wembanyama came up with a steal and it was over.

The Spurs, who won a third-straight game for the first time this season, scored 74 points in the first half and led most of the night.

But the Knicks, fueled by Brunson's 38 second-half points, grabbed the lead for the first time when Donte DiVincenzo's 3-pointer made it 113-112 with 4:39 left in regulation.

After a Wembanyama alley-oop dunk tied it at 119-119, Brunson drove for a basket that put the Knicks up 121-119 with 1:14 left in regulation, but Wembanyama made two free throws to force overtime.

"He's pretty special," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of Wembanyama, adding that the Spurs' ability to withstand an "amazing" Brunson and the Knicks' late charge showed how much they have developed this year.

"All teams lose leads," Popovich said. "But how you come back from it is important and earlier in the year we