Croatia’s third EuroBasket game – this time against University of Arizona guard Kerr Kressa and Estonia – was close for about 40 minutes. Croatia led by 4 after each of the first two quarters, led by 5 after the third quarter, and managed a 73-70 win.
In this EuroBasket so far, Croatia – very similar to 2021-22 Phoenix Suns They really tend to dig themselves into a gap in the early games. Today was no different, as Estonia opened in a 10-3 round that capped a transitional free throw from Kriisa.
Although the Mediolanum Forum in Assago, Italy, was the arena used for Group C competitions, being more than a full day’s drive from Estonia, it felt that they The host nation was the way their fans turned out, which made it even more difficult for Croatia to pull themselves out of the early pit.
However, Dario Saric’s Big Suns didn’t seem to care about the crowd and successfully helped Croatia take a lead two minutes before the end of the frame, thanks in part to that really nice rebound pass to Carlo Matkovic for a basket as well as an opening. Pick up and shoot three with the help of Glenn Smith:
He also threw this satisfying pass late in the first time that didn’t lead to a Croatian score, but it looked great anyway:
Mostly due to a lot of errors, transitions and poor attacking, every side struggled to get a lot done offensively in the second quarter. Each team scored only 13 points, leading Croatia 33-29 in the first half. suns Trade goal Bojan Bogdanovic had his worst half of the tournament so far, finishing as many fouls (2) as points.
Bogdanovic looked to start the second half differently, getting an early bucket from a break and assisting Matković at the middle of the post.
In much of the discussion about a possible deal between Bojan-to-PHX, the elephant appears in his defense room, and there was a particularly bad possession while guarding the G League winger who plays for Chicago BullsAlly Henry Drill:
Drill’s hesitation moves in isolation more akin to the kinds of bad situations Bogdanovic could find himself in playing the NBA rather than the defense-oriented ones he sees so often in FIBA play, and with which he doesn’t struggle much.
They tried as best they could, Croatia could not get Estonia to leave late; Estonia was firing the lights from deep in the fourth inning, hitting three straight on one point to help cut the lead down to just one point with several minutes remaining in the match.
One of the coolest responses from Croatia came when Saric and Los Angeles Clippers senior Ivica Zubak, a former NBA Extension opponent, teamed up in a two-way game which resulted in another pass for Saric and another dunk for Zubak.
Saric, who finished the match with his first double this summer, scored three passes from Smith with four minutes remaining to extend Croatia’s lead to 5:
Smith graced the match with his free throws to clear the match, Croatia came out ahead, 73-70, and moved to 2-1 in the third set and a chance to end the day tied to top the group.
Notable state lines:
- Sarek: 15 points (2-7 2P, 2-4 3P, 5-6 FT), 12 rebs, 3 asts, and 2 stls in 32 minutes
- Matkovic: 17 points (8-8 2P, 1-1 FT), 4 res, 1 AST, and 2 stls in 19 minutes
- Smith: 13 points (1-5 2P, 2-7 3P, 5-6 FT), 7 points, and 1 stl in 36 minutes
- Bogdanovic: 4 points (1-3 2P, 0-3 3P, 2-2 FT) and 5 rebs in 26 minutes
- Crust crust: 18 points (1-1 2p, 5-10 3p, 1-2 feet), 3 res, 2 asts, and 1 point at 26 minutes
- M. Kotsar: 17 points (8-13 2P, 0-1 3P, 1-5 FT), 5 rebs, 3 asts, 3 stls, and 2 blks, in 35 minutes
Croatia will swing in a reasonable time from the ground up on Tuesday when they meet hosts Italy without Danilo Galinari, who tore up the AFC Champions League in warm-up matches. This match will appear on Tuesday afternoon on ESPN+.
Meanwhile, Estonia will face Great Britain at 5:15 AZ, also on ESPN+, in a match between the two weakest teams in the group.
Greece and Ukraine are the only ones in the group who started 2-0 and are ahead of Croatia at this moment. Greece hold out Giannis Antetokounmue (the rest) against Great Britain today and are still up in double digits in the first half. If that match turned upside down and Britain was upset, Croatia just needed Italy to beat Ukraine later in the day for a share of the group’s lead.
Even if it doesn’t, Croatia still looks solid in the top four, which is the bare minimum for a move to the knockout stage.