Slovenia wins historic victory
Slovenia became the first team to reach the semi-finals, beating Germany 94-70, advancing to the medal rounds in their first appearance in the Olympic tournament. Zoran Dragic, who played for Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz last season, led the winners with 27 points on 11 of 13 shots, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Former EuroLeague MVP Luka Doncic added 20 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists while Valencia Basket’s Mike Tobey had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Slovenia. Maodo Lo from ALBA Berlin led Germany with 11 points. Zalgiris Kaunas’ Niels Giffey added 10. Dragic and Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana’s Jaka Blazic gave Slovenia their first double-digit lead, 23-12, at the end of the first quarter. Germany bounced back and Lo buried three straight three-pointers to put his side ahead, 31-32. Cedevita’s Tobey, Dragic and Edo Muric each struck from downtown to restore a Slovenian advantage 44-37 at halftime. Doncic and Dragic took over after the break, increasing their team’s lead to 66-52 after 30 minutes. Slovenia quickly made it a 21-point game, 84-63, on a Dragic layup and had plenty of time to celebrate a historic victory.
With +24 against Germany in the semifinals of the Olympic Games! CONGRATULATIONS, SLOVENIA !!
➡ Blazic 9/3 sauts
Rupnik 1 assist
: https://t.co/ru396q8SzD pic.twitter.com/Vwp1d7Y38V
– Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana (@KKCedOL) August 3, 2021
Durant leads the United States ahead of Spain
The United States clinched their ticket to the semi-finals by beating Spain 81-95 behind 29 points from Kevin Durant. Jayson Tatum had 13 for the United States. Ruky Rubio led Spain with 38 points, the best score ever against the United States at the Olympics. Former EuroLeague MVP Sergio Rodriguez of AX Armani Exchange Milan had 16 for Spain. Durant and Devin Booker gave the United States a quick 10-17 lead. Rubio and former EuroLeague MVP Sergio Llull of Real Madrid combined all the points in an 11-2 run that gave Spain their first lead, 21-19, at the end of the first quarter. Rodriguez and Willy Hernangomez quickly put Spain into a double-digit game, 40-29. Durant stepped up for the United States, enlisting help from Zach Lavine to tie the game 43-43 at halftime. Durant hit downtown three times shortly after the break, and got plenty of help from Lavine and Booker to make it a 16-point, 49-65 game. Rubio and Hernangomez saved Spain and Rodriguez scored a triple that gave Spain hope, 63-69, after 30 minutes. Real Madrid’s Usman Garuba, the rising star of EuroLeague 2020-21, quickly pulled his side even closer, 65-69, but Damian Lillard and Tatum restored a 66-77 lead in the United States with 7 minutes to play, enough to control the game until the horn finals.
– Real Madrid basket (@RMBaloncesto) August 3, 2021
France overtakes Italy
France beat Italy 75-84 on Tuesday afternoon to stage a semi-final clash with Slovenia. Rudy Gobert punctuated the winners with 22 points and 9 rebounds, Evan Fournier scored 21, Nicolas Batum collected 15 points and 14 rebounds. Real Madrid point guard Thomas Heurtel had 10 points and 5 assists, while Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul goalkeeper Nando De Colo provided 7 assists. Simone Fontecchio of Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz led Italy with 23 points, Danilo Gallinari had 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Fenerbahce forward Achille Polonara had 15 points plus 7 rebounds. Fontecchio scored 7 points, including a triple, and Umana Reyer Venice’s Polonara and Michele Vitali also each scored a non-missing three to help Italy at 25-20 after 10 minutes. France responded in the second quarter with Olympiacos Piraeus cross Moustapha Fall and Heurtel, who combined for 11 points, including Fall’s dunk-plus-foul, which put France in the lead 30-33. Fall also delivered 2 blocks, and France led 42-43 at halftime. France used a 2-15 run halfway through the third to open a 14-point lead and held 54-64 in the fourth quarter, but Fontecchio chained 10 points to tie the game at 66-66. The teams traded blows as the match entered the final minutes before Heurtel’s treble gave France a 73-76 lead with 2:10 to go, then Heurtel dunked Gobert to reach 75-80 with 37 seconds to play, sealing the deal.
— LDLC ASVEL (@LDLCASVEL) August 3, 2021
Australia beats Argentina
Australia were the last team to reserve a place in the semi-finals with a 97-59 victory over Argentina to end Tuesday’s action. Patty Mills led the winners with 18 points. Jock Landale and Matisse Thybulle each added 12 while former EuroLeague champion Joe Ingles had 11 for the Boomers. FC Barcelona’s Nico Laprovittola led Argentina with 16 points. Gabriel Deck, who played for Real Madrid last season, added 12. Argentina took an early 10-18 lead with a point capped with a triple from Laprovittola, but Ingles replied with a three, then knocked down another at the start of the match. second quarter as Australia rallied to take a 39-33 halftime lead. Argentina stayed close until the end of the third quarter when Dante Exum helped Australia stand out at 60-48. Australia increased their defensive intensity in the fourth quarter, opening the final quarter with a 17-0 run and heading for victory.
All semi-finals #Tokyo2020
France vs Slovenia
United States vs. Australia pic.twitter.com/nOpfHRkgol
– Eurohoops (@Eurohoopsnet) August 3, 2021
Action is set to resume at the Saitama Super Arena with the semi-finals on Thursday. The United States faces Australia at 6:15 am CET. Later today, France and Slovenia will face each other for a place in the gold medal match at 1:00 p.m. CET.