Wembanyama has 26 points and 11 rebounds, Spurs spoil Ball’s return to Hornets

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Victor Wembanyama had 26 points and 11 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs routed Charlotte 135-99 on Friday night, spoiling Hornets star LaMelo Ball’s return from a 20-game absence.

Wembanyama was 9 for 14 from the field, hitting 2 of 3 3-pointers, and had two blocks in 20 minutes.

Ball had 28 points, five assists and five steals in his first game since spraining his right ankle Nov. 26 at Orlando.

San Antonio was able to sit its starters for most of the final quarter while building a 36-point lead against short-handed Charlotte. The Spurs host Chicago on Saturday night

Terry Rozier added 16 points for the Hornets. While Ball returned, Charlotte is still without Gordon Hayward (strained left calf), P.J. Washington (sprained right foot) and Mark Williams (bruised back).

For San Antonio, Doug McDermott had 14 points, Jeremy Sochan 13 and Devin Vassell 12.

The Spurs have won two straight for the second time this season, with a franchise worst 18-game losing streak and a six-game skid between those streaks.

A showdown between Wembanyama and Brandon Miller, the top two picks in the NBA draft, fizzed when Miller bruised his lower back after falling headfirst into the basket stanchion two minutes into the second quarter.

Spurs forward Keldon Johnson was assessed a flagrant foul 1 after attempting to disrupt Miller’s dunk attempt. Miller remained on the court for a few minutes before limping off to the locker room.

Wembanyama had consecutive alley-oop dunks followed by a one-handed slam to open the second half. Wembanyama crossed up Nick Richards at the 3-point line, sprinted through the center of the lane and threw down a right-handed dunk to put the Spurs up 75-48 two minutes into the second half.


Hornets: At Miami on Sunday night

Spurs: Host Chicago on Saturday night.