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Lauri Markkanen drops 43 points for Finland in EuroBasket win

Finland v Croatia: Round of 16 - FIBA EuroBasket 2022

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 11: Lauri Markkanen of Finland during the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 round of 16 match between Finland and Croatia at EuroBasket Arena Berlin on September 11, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Pedja Milosavljevic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Lauri Markkanen hit 19-of-29 shots and three 3-pointers for a Finland record 43 points in Sunday’s 94-86 win over Croatia in EuroBasket.

He added nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and had zero turnovers in 32 minutes in what was basically the game of his life.

Markkanen is just 25 years old but has struggled with injuries over the last four seasons, playing in just 52, 50, 51 and 61 games in each of them.

There was a lot of hype and promise surrounding Markkanen after he averaged 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.3 3-pointers during his 2018-19 campaign with the Bulls, but his scoring dropped off dramatically over the next three seasons, as he didn’t average more than 14.8 points in any of them.

He’ll get new life in Utah with the Jazz this season and they’re hoping that his strong EuroBasket performance translates over to his new season. He’ll likely be sharing minutes with Jarred Vanderbilt in Utah but it appears that Markkanen is the favorite to start.

Sunday’s scoring performance, along with a variety of strong dunks, could lead to some hype for Markkanen this year and he could end up being a solid fantasy sleeper, assuming he can stay healthy. And his strong EuroBasket performance should lead to him coming into the season with his confidence at an all-time high.