Clutch Luka Doncic-Mike Tobey duo overcomes Lithuania in a fierce battle

2022-09-01 17:17

Mike Tobey dominated in the fourth quarter against Lithuania, while Domantas Sabonis committed an unsportsmanlike foul against Luka Doncic in the end in a battle that gifted Slovenia its first win in the tournament.

Credit: FIBA

Luka Doncic and Mike Tobey duo came in clutch in the end to overcome Lithuania 92-85 (27-27, 24-21, 18-19, 23-18) and capture the first win for Slovenia in a battle that captured the attention throughout the entire 40 minutes.

The battle of the two giants started off in a way most of the fans expected. Slovenia made a couple of triples while Lithuania balanced the game between the paint and outside shots.

Lukas Lekavicius, who struggled in the friendly games, provided help off the bench for Lithuania substituting youngster Rokas Jokubaitis, who was tasked to lead the national team without having previous experience of a similar sort.

Player of the Game
Mike  Tobey
Mike Tobey
Points 24
Accuracy 11-17
Rebounds 8
Assists 1

Although the entire Slovenian game revolved around Luka Doncic, he looked human in the first half., making most of his contributions to the game by dishing out passes to his teammates.

The tactical battle continued into the second half with Slovenia trying to run away and Lithuania continuously pushing back and narrowing their deficit time after time. However, with the score tied at 71 with just under 8 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Lithuania went on a quick run to earn their biggest lead of the game at the time (78-73) and force an Aleksander Sekulic timeout.

Doncic stepped on the court and the game went to the wire. First, he put the ball in Mike Tobey's hands for an easy layup, then Tobey himself assisted Goran Dragic for a clutch three-pointer from the corner to put Slovenia up by 4.

Down by 5 (81-86), Domantas Sabonis committed an unsportsmanlike foul against Doncic in an episode that gifted not only two free throws but also possession to Slovenia.

Lithuania did not manage to come back and Slovenia celebrated its first victory in the tournament.

Mike Tobey led Slovenia with 24 points on 11-for-14 shooting, while also grabbing 8 rebounds for 27 PIR. Luka Doncic added 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 10 assists but shot just 4-for-14 from the court.

The Lithuanians were led by Mindaugas Kuzminskas who was the top-scorer on the team with 18 points on a 6-for-13 shooting. He had previously missed the majority of the friendly games for Lithuania but was one of the brightest players on the court on both ends.

Slovenia: Mike Tobey 24 (10/12 2PT, 1/5 3PT, 8 REB), Goran Dragic 19 (5/10 PT, 3/4 3PT), Luka Doncic 14 (3/6 2PT, 1/8 3PT, 5/8 FT), Jaka Blazic 14 (3/4 2PT, 2/2 3PT), Vlatko Cancar 11.

Lithuania: Mindaugas Kuzminskas 19 (5/9 2PT, 3/3 3PT), Marius Grigonis 18 (4/5 2PT, 2/8 3PT), Lukas Lekavicius 14 (4/5 2PT, 5 AST), Domantas Sabonis 10 (4/9 2PT, 5 REB), Jonas Valanciunas 9 (4/9 2PT, 12 REB).

Luka Doncic's performance:

Full game highlights:


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