Marco Belinelli’s shooting clinic leads Italy past Spain at EuroBasket
When those kinds of shots are going down, you should just go the full J.R. Smith and put everything up.
Kings’ fans had to be thinking “what if” as Marco Belinelli went off for Italy Tuesday against Spain in a key EuroBasket Group B — the “group of death” — showdown, leading Italy to a 105-98 win.
Belinelli was 7-of-9 from three on his way to 27 points — and he turned the game around. Spain was up five with 9:30 left in the third quarter when Belinelli’s sharpshooting sparked a 15-0 Italian run, and the team in blue never trailed again.
Despite all that Belinelli didn’t even lead Italy in scoring. The Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari was attacking and got to the free throw line 14 times on his way to 29 points. Andrea Bargnani of the Nets added 18.
The Bulls Pau Gasol went off for 34 to keep Spain close — only he and the Bulls Nikola Mirotic (13) were in double digits for Spain.
With the win Italy is 2-1 in Group B and has a good chance to advance to the knockout stage, while Spain falls to 1-2 and needs to pick up wins against Iceland and Germany to make sure it advances as well.