Goran Dragic sat the majority of the second half as 4-0 Slovenia limited its starters in a 93-87 win against Angola on Wednesday, but it wasn’t before he scored 14 points in 17 minutes of play. Domen Lorbek led Slovenia with 17 points, but Dragic proved impactful in limited minutes by hitting 4-of-6 three-point shots.
The rest should serve Dragic well on Thursday, when Slovenia closes group play against a dangerous Lithuanian squad led by Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas and Rockets power forward Donatas Motiejunas at 12:30 p.m. MST.
Lithuania, as of Wednesday morning, has yet to play Korea. A win, which is likely, would tie Lithuania and Australia with 3-1 records, meaning Slovenia could avoid losing in its final group game to secure a first-place bid from Group D into the tournament round. In a loss, a three-team tie would be broken by average points scored against only the other two teams – Slovenia is in good place having beat Australia 90-80.
Australia’s average is set at 81 points after the Slovenia loss and an 82-80 win over Lithuania.
If Slovenia wins the group, it could avoid playing a likely first-place Team USA until the semifinal round of the tournament.