The Slovenian national team used 21 points from Suns guard Goran Dragic in a 90-80 victory to open the 2014 FIBA World Cup. The win was a promising one for Slovenia in Group D, where Lithuania is considered the favorite but doesn’t have scoring forward Linas Kleiza as it did when it won silver at last year’s EuroBasket.
Australia and Slovenia are vying to be called the second-best team in the group, and it was Dragic’s performance that made a case for the latter. He went 8-for-12 from the floor (3-for-5 from three-point range) and also led the team with four assists and seven rebounds. As far as Phoenix is concerned, it wasn’t bad that Dragic only played 26 minutes despite the minutes restriction being lifted from exhibition play.
Indeed, it was an easy time for Dragic, who also got quite a bit of help from a squad that boasts a deep crew of capable perimeter players. Brother Zoran Dragic — who is garnering attention from the Indiana Pacers — scored 10, while Domen Lorbek added 13.
Next up: Slovenia faces Mexico on Sunday.