The Slovenia Times

Slovenia defeat France as Dončić powers on


Cologne - NBA star Luka Dončić scored 47 points to lead defending champions Slovenia to a 88:82 (20:19, 44:40, 64:64) win over France in the fifth round of the EuroBasket on Wednesday and secure the top spot in the group and a slot in the round of 16.

Appearing without Mike Tobey, who sustained an injury in the game against Germany, Slovenia got off to a slow start and were down 14:3 in the first quarter until Dončić powered up for what one commentator described as the best 15 minutes he has ever played for the national team.

The Dallas Mavericks player scored 27 points by half-time and added ten more in the third quarter despite a blow to the head that saw him walk off the court bloodied for the intermission.

The 47-point tally, plus seven rebounds and five assists, makes Dončić the player with the second highest score ever in a EuroBasket game. The record belongs to the Belgian eddy Terrace, who managed 63 points against Albania in 1957.

Slovenia were in a rut after a painful defeat against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday but then bounced back against Germany yesterday.

Goran Dragić, the Miami Heat point guard, acknowledged that the team struggled "when the desire is not there". "But if we have the energy and help each other, we are unstoppable. Yes, mistakes happen. But we are moving forward," he said.

As for Dončić's performance, he said that he was indeed excellent but "others have contributed their share as well, including those who do not show up in the stats," said Dragić, who scored 14 points today.

Slovenia face either Georgia or Montenegro in the round of 16, which will be played on Saturday.


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