MILAN – The stars were out in force at EuroBasket on Tuesday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41 points in 27 minutes for Greece, Luka Doncic scored 36 points for Slovenia and two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic scored 29 points for Serbia – three of the world’s best players leading their teams through the big draw. European championships.
Each has one more group-stage game left, followed by a trip to Berlin for the 16-team knockout round that starts on Saturday with Greece, Slovenia and Serbia all winners.
Antetokounmpo’s point total was the highest since Dirk Nowitzki’s 43 for Germany in 2001. And when he heard that stat, all Antetokounmpo did was shake his head.
The best player in the world? 🤯
🇬🇷 Giannis Antetokounmpo in one #EuroBasket game with Dirk 43. 2001 high 41 PTS dropped. #BringTheNoise pic.twitter.com/Sh2oejDQjJ
— #EuroBasket 2022 (@EuroBasket) September 6, 2022
“I try not to judge my performance,” Antetokounmpo said. “I try to go out there and relax as much as possible, try to focus as much as I can on the things I can control, try to bring as much energy as possible. But I will say this: I think this is one of the years I’ve been really, really excited to go out there and play with my teammates.”
As Antetokounmpo did, Doncic passed on his credit after the game. Germany’s post-match reaction was “Luka Doncic happened”, to which Doncic replied “Slovenia happened”.
“The whole team was ready,” Doncic said. Everyone who entered the court, whether they played one minute or 30 minutes, was fighting. I’m really proud of this team.
Doncic was asked after the game whether he or Antetokounmpo was in a better position to break the EuroBasket single-game scoring record.
Doncic didn’t hesitate in his answer: he chose Antetokounmpo.
“I’ll bet on Giannis,” Doncic said. “How? Because he’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
Greece 99, Ukraine 79
In Milan, Antetokounmpo ensured that Greece would finish top of the group with an easy win over Ukraine.
Antetokounmpo — who was rested Monday — had 41 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes to lead Greece (4-0).
He was 13 for 18 from the floor, 15 for 18 from the foul line.
“It was very easy to prepare the team because it is completely clear what Greece will do when Giannis is present,” said Ukrainian coach Einars Bagatkis. “They play very aggressive basketball. And if you don’t bring the same violence and extreme brutality to them, you have a big problem.
Nick Calathes and Tyler Dorsey had 13 apiece for Greece.
Issuf Sanon and Svi Mykhayluk each scored 16 goals for Ukraine (3-1), while Alex Lane and Ilya Sidorov added 10 each. Before Greece won 32-11 in the third quarter, Ukraine led by seven.
Estonia 94, Great Britain 62
Henry Drell had 20 points, Sim-Sander Vene added 18 and Estonia had no trouble en route to their first win of the tournament.
Mike-Kalev Kosar scored 15 goals, Krisjan Kitsing added 14 and Janari Josar finished with 11 for Estonia (1-3).
Miles Hesson scored 14 for Great Britain (0-4), while Carl White and Patrick Whelan scored 12 each.
Italy 81, Croatia 76
Simon Fontecchio and Niccolò Melli each scored 19 points to lead Italy (2-2).
Bojan Bogdanovic led Croatia (2-2) with 27 points, while Ivica Zubac added 13 and Dario Saric added 10.
Both teams will advance to the playoffs.
Slovenia 88, Germany 80
In Cologne, Germany, Doncic scored 36 points on 14 of 25 shooting. Had 10 rebounds for Slovenia (3-1).
🇸🇮 Luca Magic spreads glitter around the court ✨ 🪄 #EuroBasket pic.twitter.com/JDINSHDIYD
— FIBA (@FIBA) September 6, 2022
Goran Dragic scored 18 points and Mike Tobey added 10 for Slovenia.
“We showed what we’re made of,” Dragic said.
Dennis Schroder added 19 points, Andreas Obst 14 and Maodo Lo added 13 for Germany (3-1).
Lithuania 87, Hungary 64
Lithuania is known for many things, including its basketball-loving fans.
They go everywhere to support their national team. And on Tuesday, congratulations to France – for a good reason.
Lithuania topped Hungary, combined with France’s win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, means that they have yet to qualify for the final group stage of Group B. Lithuania play Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday, with the winner going to Berlin and the loser of the round of 16 tie going out.
“Lithuanian fans are the best,” said French goalkeeper Ivan Fournier.
If France had lost on Tuesday, Lithuania would have been eliminated. Instead, those Lithuanian fans greeted the French with “Merci!” To keep the hopes of their national team alive.
“It’s amazing,” said Lithuanian forward Domatas Sabinis. “They travel to every championship to help us. It’s a shame that we couldn’t give them a win at the weekend, but we’re very happy that we were able to give them one today and we’re aiming to give them another one tomorrow.
Jonas Valanchinas scored 21 points on 10-13 shooting and Sabonis added 19 for Lithuania (1-3).
Marius Grigonis had 15 points and Rokas Jokubaitis added 10 for Lithuania. Zoltan Perl scored 16 for Hungary (0-4), while David Vojvoda and Roscoe Allen each finished with 10.
France 81, Bosnia and Herzegovina 68
Thomas Hertel’s 3-pointer with 5:49 left put France ahead and started a 22-7 run for the winners, who are already assured of a spot in the round of 16.
Gurschon Yabusele scored 15 for France (3-1), Hertel and Fournier each had 14 and Rudy Gobert had an 11-point, 12-rebound performance.
Jusuf Nurkic, Miralem Halilovic and Dzanan Musa had 14 shots for Bosnia and Herzegovina (2-2), while John Roberson had 13 and Edin Atich had 10.
Turkey 78, Belgium 63
In Tbilisi, Georgia, Alperen Sengun had 24 points, Furkan Korkmaz had 16, and Turkey (3-1) was tied in Group A.
Erkan Osmani added 12 for Turkey.
Haris Bratanovic scored 15 for Belgium (2-2) and Hans VanWijn scored 11.
Spain 82, Montenegro 65
Spain (3-1) found its way to victory in the Round of 16, with Dario Brizuela leading the way with 18 points.
Willy Hernangomez scored 14 goals for Spain, Jaime Pradilla and Lorenzo Brown added 12.
Vladimir Mihajlovic scored 18 for Montenegro (2-2), with 11 from Marko Simonovic and 10 from Kendrick Perry.
Bulgaria 92, Georgia 80
De Bost had 33 points and 12 assists, Alexander Vezenkov finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds, and Bulgaria kept its hopes alive.
Pavlin Ivanov scored 17 for Bulgaria (1-3).
Goga Bitaze scored 21 for Georgia (1-3), Tadus McFadyen scored 19, Alexander Mamukelashvili scored 13, and Giorgis Shermadini and Duda Sanadze scored 10.
SERBIA 89, ISRAEL 78
In Prague, Jokic went 11-of-13 from the floor and had 11 rebounds in a 4-0 win over Serbia, while Vasilije Miki added 19.
It is indeed a starry night 🌃.
🃏 Nikola Jokic continues the trend! #EuroBasket pic.twitter.com/FL6CkA31QV
— FIBA (@FIBA) September 6, 2022
Nikola Kalinic and Ogyen Jaramaz scored 10 each for Serbia.
Yam Madar scored 20 for Israel (2-2), Dini Avdija added 14 and Roman Sorkin added 11.
Poland 75, Netherlands 69
Poland trailed by 13 in the third quarter before closing on a 39-20 run.
Michal Sokolowski scored 24 for Poland (3-1), with 16 from Alexander Balcerowski and 10 from Jakub Garbarz.
Charlon Kloof led the Netherlands (0-4) with 26, while Yannick Franke had 13.
Finland 98, Czech Republic 88
Lauri Markkanen continued his strong streak with 34 points and 10 rebounds as Finland advanced to the round of 16.
For Finland, Sasu Salin added 23 and Petteri Koponen added 14, and Elias Valtonen finished with 11 points.
Vojtek Hruban scored 22 for the Czech Republic, Jan Vesely added 15, and Patrik Auda and Jaromir Bohaczyk scored 13 apiece. The Czechs will play Israel on Thursday and according to FIBA reports, they can reach the playoffs with a win.