Slovenia beat France 88-82 at the FIBA Eurobasket 2022 and secured first place in Group B.
Superstar Luka Doncic carried the reigning champions to the nail-biting victory.
Slovenia was missing starting center Mike Tobey, but that didn’t stop Doncic, who was unstoppable with 47 points to give his side a 4-1 record in the group. It is the most points in a single EuroBasket game in the last 65 years and the second-highest tally in competition history behind Eddy Terrace’s 63 points for Belgium in 1957.
Turning Point: France raced ahead by 11 points in the first quarter until Doncic started to heat up, and it was a one-point game after 10 minutes. The game was tight for the next two quarters and deadlocked 64-64 after 30 minutes. Slovenia buckled down on defense to start the final frame and mounted a 13-3 surge to go ahead 77-67. France fought back and evened the game 82-82, but Goran Dragic grabbed a steal and layup, and Vlatko Cancar nailed a big jumper with 45 seconds to play for an 86-82 lead. The Dragic brothers iced the game with another steal and layup.
TCL Player of the Game: It would be a crime to pick anyone other than Doncic, who put on a show for the ages scoring his 47 points on 15-of-23 shots while also picking up seven rebounds and five assists.
Stats Don’t Lie: Slovenia shot 49 percent for the game and made 20 of 23 free throws compared to 8 of 12 from the charity stripe for France. Despite playing without Tobey, Slovenia finished the game with the same number of rebounds as France.
Bottom Line: By locking up the top spot in Group B, Slovenia will play the fourth-placed team from Group A. But Slovenia will have to wait until later in the day to see who their opponent will be. France will face Turkey in the Round of 16.