Posted Sep 1 2010 6:03PM
ISTANBUL (AP) -- Jaka Lakovic scored 20 points, hitting consecutive 3-pointers to halt a furious Brazil comeback, and Slovenia blew nearly all of a 17-point lead before holding on for an 80-77 victory Wednesday.
Slovenia (3-1) took sole possession of second place in Group B, while Brazil (2-2) came up just short again after losing by two to the United States on Monday.
Brazil forward Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers played for the first time after missing the first three games of the world championship while recovering from a sprained ankle. He had four points and four rebounds in 23 minutes.
Primoz Brezec hit his first seven shots and scored 16 points to help the Slovenians take a 14-point halftime lead. A 3-pointer to open the second half made it a 17-point game, but Brazil began chipping away and pulled within 70-68 on Tiago Splitter's basket with 4:25 remaining.
Lakovic hit a 3 with 3:32 remaining, then nailed another about a minute later to make it 76-68. Brazil got back within five in the final minute, but Bostjan Nachbar hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 21 seconds to play to help the Slovenians pull it out.
Nachbar finished with 15 points and Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns had 10 for Slovenia, which shot 57 percent from the field.
Marcelo Machado scored 20 points and Splitter added 19 for Brazil. Leandro Barbosa shot just 6 of 18 and had 12.
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