Sunday FIBA action in Slovenia saw the usual EuroBasket powers like Spain and France come away with big wins, while Russia found itself eliminated from contention for second-round group play.
France 77, Ukraine 71 - Tony Parker scored 28 points and ignited a 14-0 fourth-quarter run for France that gave them enough separation from a pesky Ukrainian squad. The loss was Ukraine's first of EuroBasket, and the win for France put them on the edge of making the second round of the tournament.
For France, Parker's San Antonio Spurs teammate, Boris Diaw, added 15 points and Portland Trail Blazers swingman Nicolas Batum scored eight points. Former NBA guard Pooh Jeter led Ukraine with 20 points.
Ukraine was outrebounded 46-32 and was dominated in the paint. It shot 33 percent on from inside the 3-point arc, but kept itself in the game by hitting 13-of-26 from downtown.
Spain 89, Poland 53 - Despite a loss to Slovenia early in group play, Spain appears to be in fine shape. Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol each scored 15 points and five Spanish players hit double-figures in a 89-53 rout of Marcin Gortat and Poland. Gortat played just 17 minutes and scored just two points on 1-of-5 shooting for the overmatched Polish team.
Things began going poorly for Poland as soon as the game started. Spain built a 25-5 lead by the end of the first quarter and Poland only mustered four field goals in the first half, which also included 13 turnovers.
Spain shot 52 percent and hit 12-of-28 three-point attempts for the game, all while holding Poland to 33 percent shooting.
Croatia 76, Slovenia 74 - Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds as Croatia pulled out an overtime battle against EuroBasket host Slovenia. But it was Bogdanovic's teammate Damjan Rudez that made all the big plays.
Rudez hit two 3-pointers in overtime, the last one being the final points for Croatia. The 76-71 lead with 1:48 on the clock was enough to hold off Slovenia, which missed three 3-point attempts in the final two minutes.
Phoenix Suns point guard and Slovenian Goran Dragic scored 23 points, but went just 6-of-19 from the floor. Croatia succeeded in baiting the fast Slovenian guards into long jumpers by packing the paint to avoid penetration by Dragic and his teammates.
Great Britain 81, Germany 74 - Great Britain scored 19 points off 15 turnovers to drop Germany 81-74 and move one step closer to making the second round of the EuroBasket tournament. Myles Hesson scored 21 points and grabbed 11 boards and Andrew Lawrence led Britain with 23 points.
Germany opened the event with a surprise win against France but since has lost three straight games. Tibor Pleiss filled up the box score with 20 points and 14 rebounds, but didn't have the support system as did Hesson and Lawrence. Germany trailed by four points at halftime and four points with two minutes left, but Great Britain held steady in the final minutes.
Bosnia and Herzegovina 62, Macedonia 54 - Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic scored 22 points for Bosnia and Herzegovina and teammate Nihad Djedovic scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help his team find separation in a low-scoring game. Bosnia also kept itself in contention to advance to the second round.
Bosnia and Herzegovina shot 38 percent overall and Macedonia only hit 31 percent of its shots for the game, yet it was Macedonia that led 45-41 heading to the fourth quarter. From there, Bosnia hit 50 percent of its shots to turn the momentum in its favor as Djedovic found his groove.
Finland 86, Russia 83 - It took two overtimes, but Russia fell to 0-4 in group play and secured a disappointing exit from EuroBasket 2013. On the other side of the coin came Finland's surprise run to the second round of the event. Shawn Huff scored 20 points and point guard Petteri Koponen, whose rights are owned by the Dallas Mavericks, added 11 points and 11 assists for Finland.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved paced Russia with 25 points, and like many of the EuroBasket games thus far, free throws played a deciding factor. Poland only shot 30 percent from the floor while Russia found the bottom of the net 39 percent of the time, but Russia went 27-of-43 from the free throw line.
Serbia 80, Latvia 71 - A fast start by Nenad Krstic and a late 3-pointer by Golden State Warriors guard Nemanja Nedovic were just enough to give Serbia a 80-71 victory in a game against Latvia that was closer than the final score indicated. Krstic scored 13 points in the first quarter to finish with 25 for the game, and Nedovic finished with nine points, four rebounds and three steals.
Kristaps Janicenoks led Latvia with 18 points and gave his team the momentum heading into the fourth quarter, but it was Serbia's stout defense in that final quarter that set up the victory. Serbia responded well to Janicenoks' 14 third-quarter points and in the heart of the fourth stiffened up the defense to set up a layup by guard Stefan Markovic. That score was followed by Nedovic drilling a 3-pointer that gave Serbia a nine-point lead with four minutes left.
Czech Republic 95, Georgia 79 - Jan Vesely's impressive summer tour continued Sunday as his Czech Republic squad rolled through Georgia. The Washington Wizards forward scored 27 points in as many minutes and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Czechs took advantage of a soft Georgia defense.
Vesely's squad shot 63 percent on two-pointers and went to the foul stripe 31 times, hitting 22. Tomas Satoransky added 20 points and seven assists for the Czechs, while Giorgi Shermadin and Manuchar Markoishvili each scored 20 points for Georgia.
Italy 81, Greece 72 - Luigi Datome and Marco Belinelli combined for a trio of 3-pointers that were part of a 19-6, third-quarter run to give Italy a victory against Greece. The victory was the first loss of EuroBasket for Greece and gave Italy the first seed in Group D.
The San Antonio Spurs' Belinelli scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds by the game's end, and the Pistons' Datome added 19. Nikos Zisis led Greece with 16 points.
Italy shot 8-of-19 from 3-point range and hit 52 percent from the floor.
Israel 87, Belgium 69 - Without a win thus far in the EuroBasket first round of group play, Israel used a third-quarter run to pull out an 87-69 victory against Belgium. That keeps Israel alive heading into the final set of games before the second round.
Israel's Afik Nissim scored 23 points and dished out five assists on the day. A 25-7 run saw Israel shoot 12-of-15 from the field, and for the game the team found success swinging the ball and finding open shots. It shot 58 percent on the day thanks to 23 assists and just nine turnovers.
Axel Herville led Belgium with 13 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Lithuania 77, Montenegro 70 - Rolling to its third straight win, Lithuania rode 24 points from Ksistof Lavrinovic to end Montenegro's chances at making the second round of EuroBasket play. It didn't come easily.
Montenegro found itself down by three in the final seconds, but guard Tyrese Rice drilled a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to force overtime. However, Lithuania was too much to overcome.
Turkey 87, Sweden 74 - An excellent 3-point defense and accurate 3-point shooting gave Turkey its first victory in Group D play. In the win against Sweden, Turkey hit 9-of-20 3-point attempts and shot 57 percent overall.
Point guard Ender Arsalan scored 22 points and teammate Ersan Ilyasova of the Milwaukee Bucks added 21 points and five rebounds. Sweden got a strong effort from Charlotte Bobcats small forward Jeff Taylor, who scored 18 points but had seven of his team's 22 turnovers. Detroit Pistons Jonas Jerebko added 17 points for Sweden.