Next stop, the NBA.
Victor Wimpanyama posted his best game in the LNB Finals on Thursday, but it wasn’t enough. Monaco rallied after trailing for most of the match to take the win 92-85 Game 3 win Over Boulogne-Levalois Metropolitans Wimpanyama 92. Monaco’s victory brought a sweep in the championship series at the highest level of French basketball and put an end to Wimpanyama’s professional career.
Wembanyama’s next move in basketball will be next Thursday in the NBA Draft, where he is projected to be the first pick by the San Antonio Spurs.
Metropolitans 92 got off to a strong start on Thursday and opened the scoring in a Wimpanyama alleyway to take a 2-0 lead.
They were hot off the field early on and finished the first quarter with a 32-23 advantage. They led 53-44 at halftime and held their lead until late in the fourth quarter.
Wembanyama took advantage of his 7-foot-4 frame at both ends of the court throughout the match, scoring several runs into traffic while blocking four Monaco shots.
After scoring 27 points in Games 1 and 2 combined, Wimpanyama finished Game 3 with 22 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, as well as two assists. He shot 6 of 11 from the field, including a 1 of 4 attempt from 3 point range. It was an all-around effort that showcased the talent, size, and athleticism that made him the most sought-after basketball player since LeBron James.
But as in Games 1 and 2, it wasn’t enough to secure victory. After trailing the entire game, Monaco took their first lead late in the fourth after a Wimpanyama error put former Phoenix Sun Eli Okubo on the free throw line for a chance and 1.
Okubo’s ensuing free throw with 3:31 remaining gave Monaco its first lead at 82-81. The teams traded buckets and took the lead over the next few possessions before former Foreman guard Jordan Lloyd shut it down for Monaco.
With the game tied at 85, Loyd pulled a 3 at the top of the corkscrew. It sank through the net with 50.6 seconds remaining for an 88-85 Monaco lead. After Metropolitans 92 failed to counter the attack, Loyd did it again. Putting his 28-foot putt with 24.9 seconds left, he put the game out of reach.
With the bucket, Loyd equaled Wembanyama’s scoring tally with 22 points as he hit his fifth 3-pointer on seven attempts. Wimpanyama’s desperation on the other end missed the target, and his French career came to an end with Monaco celebrating a championship.
When the match ended, Wimpanyama responded to applause from the appreciative French crowd and signaled his heart with his hands. Next time he steps onto the basketball court, he will almost certainly do so as a spur player.
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