Editor’s note: sorry for the late post, we aren’t used to games being played at 6 am local time
France defeated Slovenia 90-89 early Thursday morning. The loss ends Luka Doncic and Slovenia’s dreams of a gold medal but not their hopes of a medal. They will play Australia for the Bronze medal which would still be a fantastic accomplishment.
Luka had the third triple double in Olympic history with 16 points 10 rebounds and 18 assists. Those 18 assists were an Olympic record. The combination of setting the assist record and nearly setting the scoring record in his first game shows what a tremendous talent Luka is.
This game largely came down to three point shooting as France shot 12 of 25(48 percent) and Slovenia shot 10 of 30(33.3 percent) from three. In a story many Mavericks fans can relate to, Luka’s teammates just could not knock down shots consistently enough to make France pay for helping on him.
Luka did not shoot well himself either. He was 2 of 9 on threes with both makes being step backs in the first quarter. Luka was 5 of 18 from the floor overall as he struggled for finish over the combined length of Nicholas Batum and Rudy Gobert. He only had 1 turnover against his 18 assists which is incredibly impressive.
Zoran Dragic, who had been one of Slovenia’s best players before this game, really struggled with 1 point in 11 minutes. Mike Tobey scored 23 points and had 8 rebounds which is especially impressive considering Gobert was the opposing center.
Klemen Prepelic and Jaka Blazic were the only other Slovenian’s in double figures. Blazic had 14 points. Slovenia played incredibly hard and really well aside from not shooting well. They only had 6 turnovers as a team which is impressive against a team as long and athletic as the French team.
Prepelic did a great job to draw a charge on Fournier to breath life back into Slovenia and foul Fournier out late. He followed that up by hitting a 3 to bring Slovenia back to within 1. Prepelic had 17 and was about a fingernail away from 19 including a game winning layup. Unfortunately that fingernail belonged to Batum who made a fantastic play to block the layup and save the game for France.
France will now have a chance to repeat their upset of Team Usa in the Gold medal game. This is a tough loss for Slovenia to swallow but they should be proud of their effort and must now focus on recovering and salvaging a medal against Australia.