Victor Wimpanyama scored 27 points in Game 2 of the NBA Summer League

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LAS VEGAS — Victor Wimpanyama was better and much better in his second crack of an NBA Summer League game, scoring 27 points and 12 rebounds in 27 minutes for the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Double-doubles are good, even in Las Vegas, when the pressure stops and the competition is nothing like what you’ll see when the real NBA season begins in October.

“It’s the summer league and he has a big future coming up, the season is coming up, all those things, but I don’t think there’s any question there’s a lot of interest out there, and I’d be lying if I said maybe he didn’t feel like it,” Spurs summer coach Matt Nielsen said. The talent he has, the flexibility and he just progressed and wanted to be better in the areas we talked about.”

Wimbanyama, 19, the 2023 first pick and international sensation, added three blocks and shot 9-of-14 from the field in the Spurs’ 85-80 loss to the summer edition of the Portland Trail Blazers. His three-pointer with 1:58 left put the Spurs within one point and brought thunderous applause from the crowd that was so hungry to see him play like that.

It was a marked improvement for the 7-foot-4 Frenchman, who built a small home in his long-awaited summer debut Friday missing 13 of 15 shots.

“I’m just comfortable with myself, comfortable with my body, the court,” Wimpanyama said. “Before today, I’d have like two workouts and one game, so I’d start.”

Wimpanyama moved better against the Blazers, after shaking off some rust from the banquet circuit he hit after his pro season ended in Europe. He showed more touch near the basket, made enough fouls to shoot 12 free throws (and made seven), and even knocked down two jumpers. He remained a deterrent in the lane for potential drivers and drivers – which was the main positive Tottenham fans took away from the five blocks he posted on Friday.

Wimbanyama also continued to struggle with maintaining possession when powerful players sought to take the ball away from him, and he remained a moving object at the point of contact – two problems that should fade over time as he grows into his long frame.

Wimpanyama showed flashes of his potential on offense in a nine-point outburst in the second quarter on Sunday (he scored nine game points in his debut on Friday), behind a terrific floating jump shot and two dunks that sent a definite buzz through the crowd. He had the fans at full tilt in the fourth with a 10-point blast, which included two 3-pointers, a hook and a sharp spin and glass shot.

He also rolled a wide open 3 off the top of the corkscrew, a reminder that while YouTube videos of his giant 3-pointers were great, he only shot .25 from the 3-point range in the LNL last season.

Sunday’s game was supposed to be a matchup between the two rookies that entered the draft with the most hype — Wimpanyama and No. 3 pick Scott Henderson of the Blazers — but Henderson injured his shoulder in his debut Friday and was saved.

The Spurs’ next summer league game is at 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday against the Washington Wizards, and Nielsen acknowledged that Wimpanyama’s summer will end before the schedule ends.

“I’m sure it’s going to happen very quickly, but for me right now I’m just trying to get through that match, so I’m not sure what’s next, but just enjoy it,” said Nielsen.

Wimpanyama added, “I want to speak with Bob (Tottenham coach Gregg Popovich), and I will listen to everything he has to say. I am ready to make any sacrifices for the team and give my 100 percent.”

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(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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