The San Antonio Spurs were on the verge of knocking off a team that's expected to make the playoffs. They'd rallied to lead the Sacramento Kings by four with just over two minutes remaining in the game. From that moment on, one team showed why it's looking for a second straight postseason appearance while the other is on its way to another high lottery pick.

“Their experience showed,” superstar Victor Wembanyama said of the 127-122 loss in California's state capital. “Our lack of experience showed as well. It's still blurry, I need to watch the game again.”

Dealing with a tough outcome

Looking to start the post All-Star break portion of their schedule with a win, the Spurs lost for a second straight time dating back to a February 14 116-93 setback at the Dallas Mavericks.

“I have no choice,” Wembanyama answered when asked how he deals with tough losses before he alluded to Friday night's game at the Los Angeles Lakers, “We have another one tomorrow. It's not supposed to be easy. We also love the struggle and the effort we need to make. It's part of the game.”

“Yeah, of course,” the generational prospect continued in talking about whether a loss in which his team held a late lead is tougher than others. “What could have been. Guys take losses really importantly at all levels, even kids. It's part of the game since were were kids.”

As good as the top overall pick in last year's draft was Thursday night with 19 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks, 5 steals and 4 assists, Sacramento star Domantas Sabonis was better. The 27-year-old forward who nearly gets a triple-double every game, averaging 20.2 points, 13.2 rebounds and 8.4 assists for the season, recorded a triple double vs. the Spurs with 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds.

“Almost averages a triple double. It's huge,” Wemby said of the former Gonzaga star. “I think they have a great project overall, the Kings. I used to always take them on 2K. They're a really good and balanced team and he fits perfectly so I think they've got a good project.”

The 7-foot-4 marvel from France then went a step farther in praising his 6-foot-10 counterpart.

“Maybe, I mean, yeah. I like to take what I can from everyone,” Wembanyama said when asked if Sabonis is a player he observes.

“I've been watching Kings games as well. Yeah, of course, it's someone I'll take some things from.”

Victor Wembanyama ready for minutes increase

San Antonio Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan (10) and center Victor Wembanyama (1) walk off the court after a time out was called during the fourth quarter at Golden 1 Center
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich says his star rookie's minutes will increase as the season winds down. Wemby had been averaging about 28 minutes per game. His head coach wants to up that number in the thirties.

“Great. I'm ready,” the 20 year-old phenom says. “It makes sense. We have to get better at every aspect of the game in basketball, but also physically. I'm glad this is finally happening.”

For Wembanyama, as is often the case, his minutes are part of a bigger picture.

“Our progression should never stop. We're looking long run, long term. We're trying to build with our young group, trying to build something with everyone. There's no time to lose. Every game matters. We can feel the energy is always high every game.”