Cologne, Germany (AP) — Luka Doncic was asked on Tuesday whether he or Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo had a better chance of setting a EuroBasket scoring record.
Doncic quickly chose Antetokounmpo.
A day later, he might have been proven wrong.
Doncic scored 47 points – the second most of anyone in European league history – to lead Slovenia past France 88-82 on Wednesday for top spot in Group B, opening the knockout round this weekend.
“Luca, obviously, is a fantastic player,” said French center Rudy Gobert, one of the world’s top defenders.
Doncic had 27 of Slovenia’s first 36 points, made 15 of 23 shots from the field, plus had a team-high seven rebounds and five assists.
Eddie Teras had 63 points for Belgium against Albania in 1957. That’s the only EuroBasket game in which anyone had more points than Doncic on Wednesday. The previous second best effort was 46 by Greece’s Nikos Galis against Sweden in 1983.
The biggest part in this year’s EuroBasket, entering Wednesday, was Antetokounmpo scoring 41 for Ukraine.
Goran Dragic broke the tie with a layup with 1:20 left to put Slovenia (4-1) ahead for good. It was a measure of payback for Slovenia, who lost to France in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics last summer.
“Luka had a great night,” said Slovenia coach Aleksandar Sekulic. “It spoils us so much. We believe this is normal. This is not normal.”
Dragic had 14 for Slovenia. Gobert had 19 for France (3-2), which got 15 from Evan Fournier, 13 from Amath M’Baye, 11 from Elie Okobo and a 10-point, 10-rebound effort from Thomas Heurtel.
On Wednesday, the last round of groups began. There are four groups with six teams in each group and the top four clubs in each group – 16 teams in total – move to Berlin for the knockout stage which starts on Saturday.
LITHUANIA 87, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 70
Lithuania is through to the knockout phase of EuroBasket.
Marius Grigonis scored 16 points, Jonas Valanciunas finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds and Lithuania cruised past Bosnia-Herzegovina – a winner-takes-all game in terms of which club would advance from Group B and into the Round of 16.
Arnas Butkevicius and Ignas Brazdeikis each scored 13 points and Domantas Sabonis added 12 for Lithuania, which survived a second straight must-win game.
Dzanan Musa led all scorers with 22 points for Bosnia-Herzegovina (2-3), while Jusuf Nurkic added 15.
A 30-10 run in the second and third quarters was key for Lithuania (2-3). The game was tied at 32 before the explosion gave Lithuania a 62-42 lead early in the third quarter.
GERMANY 106, HUNGARY 71
Christian Sengfelder scored 22 points, Maodo Lo added 21, and Germany (4-1) prepared for the trip from Cologne to Berlin with an easy win over Hungary (0-5).
Niels Giffey scored 19, Andreas Obst scored 16 and Franz Wagner had 15 points in just 12 minutes for Germany.
Zoltan Perl led Hungary with 15 points, while Szilard Behnke had 13, Adam Somogyi scored 11 and David Vojvoda finished with 10.
SPAIN 72, TURKEY 69
In Tbilisi, Georgia, Lorenzo Brown’s jumper with 2:11 left put Spain (4-1) ahead to hold on to a group-winning victory over Turkey (3-2).
Willy Hernangomez led Spain with 15 points and Brown finished with 11. Spain will meet Lithuania in the round of 16 this weekend.
Cedi Osman scored 20 for Turkey, while Furkan Korkmaz finished with 16 and Alperen Sengun added 14. Turkey will also play in the knockout round.
BELGIUM 89, BULGARIA 80
Belgium (3-2) ensured they would reach the group stage, with Retin Obasohan scoring 25 points and Manu Lecomte adding 20.
Maxime De Zeeuw scored 13 for Belgium.
Alexander Vezenkov had 26 points and 13 rebounds and De Bost scored 18 for Bulgaria (1-4), which was eliminated.
MAVROVOUNO 81, GEORGIA 73
Montenegro (3-2) claimed the final qualifying spot from Group A, edging Georgia (1-4) behind 22 points from Igor Drobnjak and 17 from Kendrick Perry.
Bojan Dublevic added 10 for Montenegro.
For Georgia, Thadous McFadden scored 16, Alexander Mamukelasvili had 15, while Duda Sanadze and Giorgi Sermadini scored 14 each.
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