Gobert sparks France, Doncic leads Slovenia into EuroBasket final eight
BERLIN — Rudy Gobert scored 20 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, and Olympic silver medalist France moved into the EuroBasket quarterfinals by holding off Turkey 87-86 in overtime on Saturday.
Gobert had a putback dunk with 2.7 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, then scored the first four points of overtime, and France never trailed in the extra session.
“Crazy game,” Gobert said.
Turkey had what seemed like full control of the game with 12.2 seconds left in regulation. It had the ball, up by two, was going to the foul line for two free throws and would keep possession of the ball after those shots because France had been whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul.
But Cedi Osman missed both shots, a scene reminiscent of when he did the same late in what became a one-point loss to the U.S. at the Basketball World Cup in 2019. France wound up forcing a turnover on the ensuing possession, and Gobert’s dunk tied the game.
“Really tough spot for us, but we got lucky, he missed both,” Gobert said. “Then we were able to steal the out of bounds, get a bucket and get to overtime. We never stopped. We never stopped fighting. We always believed. Obviously, not our best game, but the thing I’m really proud of is the fact that we never gave up. A lot of teams would have given up in that position.”
Thomas Heurtel and Evan Fournier had 13 points apiece for France, which led by 16 midway through the second quarter.
But Turkey closed the third quarter on a 19-0 run, turning an 11-point deficit into a 57-49 lead going into the final 10 minutes of regulation. France missed 11 consecutive shots in that stretch.
Turkey had a chance to win on the final possession of overtime, but Furkan Korkmaz lost his dribble with about 2 seconds left and his team never got a shot off.
Bugrahan Tuncer scored 22 for Turkey, while Korkmaz added 18.
“I don’t know what to say, really,” Tuncer said. “I’m so mad. I’m so sad. If I cannot find any nice words, I’m sorry about it. This is unacceptable.”
France will play the winner of Sunday’s Serbia-Italy game in the quarterfinals. That matchup is scheduled for Wednesday.
“Maybe it’s the worst emotional loss in my 26-year career,” Turkey coach Ergin Ataman said. “Congratulations to France. I hope that they will continue on a good way in the quarterfinals. That’s all.”
SLOVENIA 88, BELGIUM 72
Luka Doncic scored 35 points and defending champion Slovenia used a 17-0 run in the fourth quarter to eliminate Belgium.
Doncic and Goran Dragic combined to score or be credited with assists on Slovenia’s first 40 points of the second half.
“Belgium was playing great basketball,” said Doncic, who is averaging 28 points in six tournament games so far — 39.3 per game in his last three contests. “We knew this was going to be a hard game. They were fighting until the end. But in the end, I think we played a little better.”
Doncic had five rebounds, five assists and four steals for Slovenia, while Klemen Prepelic scored 13, Mike Tobey Finished with 12 and Dragic added 11.
Manu Lecomte scored 16 points and Pierre-Antoine Gillet had a 15-point, 10-rebound game for Belgium.
Slovenia got to the line 25 times, to only eight for Belgium.
“I’m listening for a lot of weeks now, the word ‘equality.’ But equality doesn’t exist in basketball,” Belgium coach Dario Gjergja said.
Next for Slovenia is a quarterfinal game Wednesday, against the winner of the Ukraine-Poland matchup. Those teams will play Sunday.
GERMANY 85, MONTENEGRO 79
Dennis Schroder scored 22 points and Germany wasted most of a 27-point second-half lead before hanging on to oust Montenegro.
Germany led 51-24 early in the third quarter before Montenegro outscored the hosts 53-29 over the next 19 minutes.
But Germany sealed the win with five free throws in the final seconds — three of them coming off an unsportsmanlike foul and technical foul call.
Maodo Lo and Franz Wagner each scored 14 for Germany. The Germans will meet either Greece or the Czech Republic in Tuesday’s quarterfinals; those teams meet in a round of 16 game on Sunday.
Kendrick Perry scored 25 for Montenegro, which got 22 from Bojan Dubljevic, 13 from Marko Simonovic and 12 from Vladimir Mihailovic.
SPAIN 102, LITHUANIA 94, OT
Lorenzo Brown scored 28 points, Willy Hernangomez added 21 and Spain survived some frantic moments to hold off Lithuania in overtime.
Rudy Fernandez and Juancho Hernangomez each scored 13 for Spain, which will meet either Finland or Croatia in Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Finland and Croatia play a round of 16 game on Sunday.
Brown scored the first five points of overtime, and Spain never trailed in the extra session.
Ignas Brazdeikis gave Lithuania a chance, getting a tip-in to rattle around the rim and fall as time expired in regulation. But Lithuania wasted an eight-point lead in the final 5:56 of the fourth quarter, and Spain wound up tying the game on a layup by Brown with 2:23 left in the fourth.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas led Lithuania with 18 points. Brazdeikis scored 17, while Domantas Sabonis and Lukas Lekavicius had 15 apiece.
Rokas Jokubaitis added 13 for Lithuania, which lost despite shooting 51% — 7% better than Spain.