Goran Dragic and the Slovenians aren’t messing around. And with a win against previously undefeated Italy on Thursday to open second-round action at EuroBasket 2013, they proved they’re for real.
Dragic scored 22 points on 6-for-15 shooting and also divvied out six dimes in an 84-77 win against San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli and Italy. Arguably, it was Dragic’s best game yet. Though his inefficiencies came through once again, he was in pure attack mode, getting to the foul stripe 10 times and scoring eight point from there. And he certainly made sure that the ball was in his hands in a pivotal fourth quarter.
Belinelli struggled for Italy and hit only one of his first 11 shots. He finished with 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting and Detroit Pistons free agent signing Luigi Datome led the Italians with 16. Italy was 5-0 heading into second-round play and were the only team without a loss in either Group E or Group F.
Earlier in the day, Spain lost in more surprising fashion to Greece. Now, it appears Croatia — the only team that has beaten Slovenia — is the favorite of the group. Slovenia will face Greece this weekend and finish the second round against Finland. That means the worst is over for Slovenia, and Dragic might be seeing less and less playing time if his teammates continue to give him the type of support they did on Thursday.
Goran’s brother, Zoran, added 15 points and 11 rebounds. As a team, Slovenia outrebounded their opponents by 15 while scoring 46 points in the paint to just 22 for Italy.
Kravtsov and Ukraine fall to Latvia
Slava Kravtsov is the only other Phoenix Suns player remaining in EuroBasket, and he scored seven points to go with six rebounds in an 85-51 loss to Latvia on Wednesday. Kravtsov went 3-for-10 from the floor — fair considering his team only shot 30 percent as well — and only 1-for-6 from the foul stripe.