San Antonio Spurs super rookie Victor Wembanyama turned the ball over 43 seconds into the second half. Sixteen seconds after that, he was headed to the bench in Tuesday's 114-105 loss at the Minnesota Timberwolves. The memo was loud and clear to the man who's already taken the league by storm with some incredibly impressive individual feats and accomplishments.

“We need to be held accountable for our mistakes. This is the only way to get better,” Wemby said.”

“We have to make those mistakes to get better. The quicker, the better.”

A message to and from Victor Wembanyama

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) and San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) talk after the game at Target Center.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Sochan, who was the highest of three Spurs first-round picks two off-seasons ago, was sent to the bench at the same time as Wembanyama on Tuesday. The ninth overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft didn't score a single point or collect a rebound. A point guard for the first month of this season, Sochan recorded only one assist in the team's fifth straight loss.

“I think it came down to maturity because each and every one of us was making a mistake. Little mistakes, missing a lay-up, turning the ball over,” Wemby has said on this Spurs rodeo road trip. “It's the little things. This is when we made mistakes, so, yeah, it's maturity.”

“You can't win games when you give up 30 points off turnovers. That's the bottom line,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said following another setback that now drops San Antonio to 11-48.

“Every time we've done that this year we've gotten our butts kicked. That happened again tonight. Everything else is pretty irrelevant. Last game we gave up 34 points off turnovers so that's the deal,” the Hall of Famer continued.

The Spurs turned it over 22 times on the heels of 20 turnovers in a 128-109 loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

“I don't know,” Wembanyama answered with a sense of exasperation when asked what the team can do to better take care of the ball. “Of course, it's a major problem but it's got to start with each of one of us, our individual effort.”

Consistency remains at the heart of the Spurs' struggles

Even though the T'Wolves were missing Karl-Anthony Towns for personal reasons, the Spurs weren't expected to knock off the West's top team for a second time this season. They were hoping their focus would be better.

“I think with us, all year, it's been playing 48 minutes. I think we've gotten better at that all year but it's harder to do on the road,” Spurs center Zach Collins had said about the team's troubles. “You don't have the comfort of the fans, hyping you up with good plays and whatnot.”

Collins scored five points in 14 minutes off the bench in Minneapolis. The Spurs were led by Devin Vassell's 21 points. Sixth Man Keldon Johnson added 20 while Victor Wembanyama scored 17 along with 13 rebounds, four blocks, and five assists.

“It's multifaceted. You're developing the youngest team in the league. You don't want to skip any steps,” Gregg Popovich said. “There's a million things to teach and you just get after it.”

The Spurs have 23 more opportunities to “get after it” in 2023-2024.