Victor Wembanyama scores 19 points in LNB Finals as Metropolitans 92 lose 2-0

Metropolitan 92's French striker Victor Wembanyama holds the ball during the French elite basketball final playoff 2 match between Monaco and Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 at Louis II stadium in Monaco on June 12, 2023. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Metropolitan 92’s Victor Wembanyama scored 19 points against Monaco in Friday’s LNB final. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

The NBA Draft is just 10 days away and San Antonio Spurs fans are likely counting the days until their team presumably selects top prospect Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 pick. turns to the 7ft 5in French star to help them win a championship.

This chase got off to a slow start, and Wembanyama flipped a switch on Monday. He recorded 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and three rebounds in Game 2 of the Betclic Elite LNB Pro A Finals in France. But that wasn’t enough to prevent Metropolitan 92 from losing 95-88 and falling into a 2-0 series deficit.

The team was led by Barry Brown, who scored 21 points. TaShawn Thomas was 18. For Monaco, former Toronto Raptor Jordan Loyd is down 23 points.

In Saturday’s opener, Wembanyama scored just eight points on 3-of-8 shooting as the team was eliminated 87-64. On Monday, he had eight points at halftime. This turnaround was crucial to Metropolitan 92’s more competitive performance.

Webanyama’s vastly improved start was impossible to ignore, as he scored six points, 3 rebounds and a steal in the first quarter.

His output stagnated a bit as half-time progressed, a testament to Monaco’s more experienced line-up. Wembanyama had 4 turnovers and three fouls as a result of their pressure.

Former French basketball player Ronny Turiaf, who won an NBA title with the Miami Heat in 2012, helped call the game on the NBA app. He noted that a championship win for the Metropolitan 92 would be similar to the Heat’s victory this season against the Denver Nuggets.

The Metropolitans 92’s lack of depth showed in some crucial games against one of Europe’s top teams, and Wembanyama was contained for much of the second quarter. Still, he made it easy to score for a while with this dunk:

“With Strength”

For his first points of the third quarter, where Wembanyama launched an alley-oop dunk on two Monegasque players who made an English speaker speak French.

“With strength!” G League broadcaster Kevin Danna shouted over the NBA game stream as he and Turiaf relished the showpiece game. His exclamation translates to “with force”, which is an accurate description of how Wembanyama slammed the ball.

The 92 Metropolitans seemed to come alive late, closing their 12-point deficit at 90-78 with 4:51 remaining. Wembanyama was fouled with 3:35 left, making his two free throws to help close the gap.

He was perfect from the line again when he was fouled in the final 40 seconds of the game. But free throws made didn’t matter as his team was constantly outclassed.

With Monaco one win away from their first-ever title, the series travels to Roland-Garros, the site of the French Open, for Game 3 on Thursday.

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