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Spurs Win by Losing to Wizards in Battle for No. 1 NBA Draft Pick

Spurs Win by Losing to Wizards in Battle for No. 1 NBA Draft Pick article feature image
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Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images Pictured: Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs

Tanking isn’t what it used to be after the league switched to giving the bottom three teams the same 14% odds to win the No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick. Still, the San Antonio Spurs helped their race to the bottom by fading down the stretch in a 118-113 loss to Washington Wizards. The Charlotte Hornets are right on their tails to finish in the bottom three, so every loss is meaningful as the team with the fourth-worst record has a 12.5% chance.

Keldon Johnson drilled a 3 with 6:08 left to give the Spurs a 107-98 lead. However, Washington outscored San Antonio 20-6 down the stretch to earn its ninth win of the year. The Spurs are now only a half-game back for the second-worst record in the league, trailing the dreadful 6-40 Pistons.

All three teams entered Monday +550 to earn the top pick in the draft at FanDuel, followed by the Hornets (+600), Trail Blazers (+750) and Grizzlies (+1000). Charlotte is right in the mix at 10-35, tied for the same number of wins as the Spurs and one more than the Wizards

Rookie of the Year frontrunner Victor Wembanyama had another impressive performance in San Antonio’s loss.  He scored at least 20 points for the ninth-straight game and for the 14th time in his past 15 contests. Wembanyama finished with 22 points, 11 boards and three blocks. He has surged ahead of Oklahoma City's Chet Holmgren in what’s become a two-man race for the Rookie of the Year Award. Wembanyama’s listed at -240, while Holmgren’s +200. The Miami Heat’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. has the next best odds at +3500.

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Nick Sterling
Feb 24, 2024 UTC