FIBA Roundup: Jusuf Nurkic helps Bosnia stun Rudy Gobert, France

Evan Fournier, Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas were among those in action on Saturday as World Cup qualifying continued.

Jusuf Nurkic powers Bosnia and Herzegovina to a win over Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier and France.

The 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers continued on Saturday as Window 4 of the tournament nears its end for the European and African regions — the only groups in action on the day.

The European teams that played today won’t take the floor again until the next window in Round 2, which starts up at a later date still to be determined. All clubs in the African region will play their final Window 4 game on Sunday.

The game of the day saw a Jusuf Nurkic-led Bosnia and Herzegovina team upset Rudy Gobert’s and Evan Fournier’s France squad in a double-overtime thriller. The matchup continued the theme of tightly-contested European Qualifying games, most notably the explosive duel in Serbia’s OT win over Greece on Thursday.

Here are the standout performances from Saturday:

Bosnia and Herzegovina 96, France 90

Blazers forward Jusuf Nurkic scored a team-best 21 points and snagged nine boards to help Bosnia and Herzegovina outlast France in a double OT thriller. On the other end, Knicks guard Evan Fournier dropped a game-high 24 points and Timberwolves All-Star Rudy Gobert feasted inside, racking up 14 rebounds and two blocks to go along with his 10 points. Bosnia and Herzegovina won the second overtime period 13-7 to take the win.

Lithuania 90, Montenegro 73

Kings big man Domantas Sabonis did a little bit of everything for Lithuania, tallying 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the win. Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas chipped in 12 points and 14 boards. After a back-and-forth first half, Lithuania took control of things in the third quarter, outscoring Montenegro 32-15 in the period.

Italy 91, Georgia 84

Simone Fontecchio — a free agent addition to the Jazz — shined for Italy with a game-high 21 points and 8 rebounds. Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari produced off the bench with an efficient 17 points off his own, before departing with a left knee injury. Italy finished the game on a 9-2 run after Georgia’s Thaddus McFadden sank a 3-pointer to tie it up at 82 all with just over two minutes left. 

Nigeria 89, Guinea 70

Nigeria bounced back in a strong way vs. Guinea following its Friday loss to Cote d’Ivoire. Kings forward Chimezie Metu and Suns guard Josh Okogie combined for 22 points, 14 boards and 10 assists in the blowout win. The D’Tigers came out clicking on all cylinders, winning the first quarter 24-15 and never looking back. Nigeria wraps up Window 4 action against Angola on Sunday.

Iceland 91, Ukraine 88

Raptors guard Svi Mykhailiuk’s 19 points weren’t enough to help Ukraine pull out a close victory over Iceland. Ukraine won the fourth quarter by eight points to send it into extra time, but Iceland ended the game on a 11-6 run over the final three minutes of OT.