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HOUSTON (AP) Alperen Sengun scored a career-high 45 points with a season-best 16 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to a 114-101 win over the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night.

Sengun, who is in his third NBA season, also set a career mark with five steals and had three assists and a block, outplaying rookie French phenom and No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama. He had 10 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks as San Antonio’s two-game winning streak ended.

“He was a beast,” Jalen Green said. “He was amazing, that's the Alpi I know.”

Sengun is the fifth player since 1973-74, when steals started being tracked, to have at least 45 points, 15 rebounds and five steals in a game. He joins Anthony Davis, who did it two times, Joel Embiid, James Harden and John Drew. At 21 years and 224 days old, Sengun is the youngest player to record such a line.

Sengun admitted that he was extra motivated to have a good showing against Wembanyama Tuesday after scoring 15 points and nine rebounds in the last meeting with the Spurs.

“Yeah of course,” he said. “I didn’t play that good last game against him I can say. 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 Spurs scored five points, with a 3 from Keldon Johnson, to cut the lead to 92-88 with about eight minutes left.

Houston then used a 7-2 run to make it 99-92 midway through the quarter. Wembanyama had two turnovers in that stretch to help Houston pad the lead. The second one came on a steal by Sengun and he drove down the court before making a nifty behind-the-back pass to Cam Whitmore, who finished with a two-handed dunk.

The Rockets were up by 8 late in the fourth before using another 7-2 spurt to make it 114-101. Sengun capped his big night by scoring Houston’s last five points, ending with a 3-pointer.

Jalen Green added 23 points with 10 assists for Houston and Fred VanVleet had 21 points.

The Spurs were led by Devin Vassell, who had 22 points and Branham had 20 points off the bench.

“They were physical from the get-go until the end of the game,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “The 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.”

San Antonio’s Jeremy Sochan tripped Amen Thompson while he was on the ground with about 5 ½ minutes left in the third quarter. Thompson got up and immediately pushed Sochan and the two players shoved each other several times before officials and players got between them to break things up.

Sochan received a flagrant 1 foul for tripping Thompson and both players were given technical fouls for the ensuring shoving match.

Houston used a 7-1 run after that to take a 72-67 lead.

Malaki Branham made a 3 for the Spurs after that but Houston scored the next eight points, highlighted by a 3 from VanVleet, to extend the lead to 10.

The Spurs scored the final seven points of the quarter, capped by another 3 from Branham, to get within 80-77 entering the fourth.


Spurs: Visit Sacramento Thursday night.

Rockets: Host the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night.



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