Dragic did his damage primarily in the first half of the game, finishing the half with 11 points, two rebounds and two steals. He finished the game with 18 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes on the court. The Dragon’s shooting stayed sharp as he hit 7-of-10, including 2-of-4 from deep.
The win, which pushes Slovenia to 4-1 in the preliminary round, didn’t mean a whole lot, as Slovenia had already solidified the No. 2 spot in Group B behind the U.S. team. The seeding sets up a meeting with Australia (3-2) in the round of 16 and would lead to a showdown with Turkey and new Suns teammate Hedo Turkoglu in the next round if both teams were to advance.
Dragic had help against the Iranians as Miha Zupan added 15 points and five rebounds. The entire game was a constant back-and-forth, as the two teams alternated outscoring each other in each quarter.
Slovenia went up 19-6 after the first, but a determined Iran won the second quarter 17-9 to erase much of the deficit and go into the half down 28-23. Slovenia came out firing though to start the second half and outscored Iran 24-11 in the quarter to go up 52-34. Iran wouldn’t quit though, and scored 26 to Slovenia’s 13 in the fourth to make the game close, but not enough for a win.
Turkoglu rests as Turkey wrecks China
Hedo Turkoglu didn’t see the floor much Thursday, but it wasn’t like Turkey really needed him. The Turks crushed China 87-40 in the final game of pool play, staying perfect at 5-0 and securing their first place finish in Group C.
Turkoglu only played 10 minutes in the game, but finished with five points and three rebounds. The new Suns forward only took two shots and connected on one, a three-pointer to go along with two made free throws. Oguz Savas led the way for Turkey with 20 points and four rebounds.
Turkey dominated China (1-4) throughout, holding the team to just 13 points in the first half. China nearly matched that total in the third quarter alone, but was still outscored easily in every other quarter. Only Sun Yue scored double figures for China with 15 points.
Turkey ran up the score a bit at the end, according to Daily Dime Live participants watching the game, which could either be seen as putting on a show for the home crowd or something that could anger the basketball gods going forward if one were to believe in such a thing.
The win sends Turkey to an elimination-round meeting with France (3-2).
Up next: Slovenia meets Australia on Sunday at 8 a.m. MST to start the round of 16 while Turkey faces France later that day at 11 a.m.