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‘Beast’ Sengun dominates Wembanyama as Rockets overcome Spurs

Alperen Sengun was described as a “beast” by team-mate Jalen Green after he dominated Victor Wembanyama with a 45-point showing in the Houston Rockets’ big win over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.

Sengun added a season-best 16 rebounds and five steals on top of his career-high points return as the Rockets improved to 27-34 with a 114-101 success at Toyota Center.

He became just the fifth different player to reach 45 points, 15 rebounds and five steals in an NBA game since steals were first recorded in 1973-74, after Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, James Harden and John Drew.

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Doing so against the league’s top rookie in Wembanyama made the achievement particularly impressive, with Houston guard Green saying: “He was a beast. He was amazing.

“That’s the Alpi I know.”

Sengun was limited to just 15 points when the Rockets last met the Spurs, a game they won 93-82 in early December, and he said that provided him with additional motivation on Tuesday.

Asked whether that last matchup with Wembanyama was on his mind, Sengun said: “Yeah, of course. I didn’t play that good last game against him. I can say that.

“I didn’t see that many double teams today. They just left me one-on-one with Wemby, so I just did what I do.”

The defeat dropped San Antonio – who remain bottom of the Western Conference – to 13-49, leaving coach Gregg Popovich to lament a failure to match the hosts’ aggression.

“They were physical from the get-go until the end of the game,” Popovich said of the Rockets.

“They came after it that way, they played that way. They put us in the mud, we didn’t respond to it very well and you got the outcome.”

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