Dragic helps Slovenia run to third straight win, Gortat solid in loss
If EuroBasket 2013 is any indication, Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek’s uptempo offense will be a perfect fit for Goran Dragic.
Slovenia was at its best with Dragic pushing the ball in the second quarter against Georgia on Saturday. The host country’s team exploded for 31 points, providing a needed cushion for when Georgia made a second-half push.
They withstood it for the 72-68 win, giving them a perfect 3-0 record in pool play. Dragic finished with 11 points, four assists and a steal.
A rough start kept another sea’s worth of green-clad fans fairly quiet. Georgia’s ball movement and defense held Slovenia’s offense in check, leaving them trailing 19-13 after the first quarter.
Then the host team woke up.
Dragic passed to his brother Zoran (12 points) for an open 3-pointer. The Suns’ point guard logged another assist, this time hitting former NBA player Bostjan Nachbar for a 3-pointer of his own. Nachbar hit another 3-pointer. Then Zoran assisted on a dunk.
The game-changer came from Damen Lorbek, who hit three of Slovenia’s six 3-pointers of the quarter.
After trailing by 12 at halftime, Georgia clawed back to within one. Lorbek responded with another three and a layup, followed by a drive and spinning layup from Goran Dragic.
Slovenia will test its undefeated record against Croatia (2-1) on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. PST.
Gortat, Poland fall to Croatia
Poor outside shooting and a rash of third-quarter turnovers proved too much to overcome for Poland, even after cutting a 20-point deficit to one late in the fourth quarter.
Suns big man Marcin Gortat finished with 14 points, four rebounds and three blocks as his home country fell to 0-3.
Phoenix’s center started the fourth quarter with a jump hook and two free throws. Later he blocked a shot at the rim, jumpstarting a fast break that ended in Poland’s third 3-pointer in a row.
Croatia held the Poles off, thanks in part to three missed treys in a row from their opponents.
Poland will look for its first win in pool play against Spain on Sunday at 5:30 a.m. PST.