Avdija racks up strong double-double to lead Israel over Markkanen's Finland in OT

2022-09-02 14:11

It was a two-man show in Prague where Israel came back from a double-digit deficit to defeat Finland in an overtime thriller. Deni Avdija racked up a double-double with 23 points and 15 rebounds while Lauri Markkanen had a 33-point, 12-rebound game.

Credit: FIBA

Israel kicked off the Group D battles on a high note by beating Finland 89-87 (16-27, 24-13, 21-18, 18-21, 10-8) in Prague, Czech Republic.

More than 5000 Finnish fans came to support their squad, however, it didn't help to start EuroBasket 2022 with a win.

The game went neck-on-neck in the second half. Seemed that Alexander Madsen and Lauri Markkanen paved the way for Finland's win with a 12-3 spurt at the start of the fourth tally but Israel didn't give up. Israel came back with a 9-2 push and the game was tied at 75 points apiece with 1:40 to go in the fourth.

Player of the Game
Deni  Avdija
EFF
28
Deni Avdija
Points 23
Accuracy 7-15
Rebounds 15
Assists 3

Lauri Markkanen and Deni Avdija exchanged with efficient attacks when the game came down the line (79-79) while Gal Mekel had a chance to win a duel for Israel but his layup was off the mark. Both NTs went into overtime.

Rafael Menco and Deni Avdija pushed Israel in front by 5 points but Lauri Markkanen answered with 5 straight points to tie the game again (84-84) with 1:30 to play in additional time. Deni Avdija scored a duo on the other side (86-84), Finland got an offensive foul but Avdija missed a game-clinching three-point jumper.

Nevertheless, Markkanen's shot which could level the game at 86 was not successful. Gal Mekel sealed the deal for Israel on the other side (88-84).

Deni Avdija posted 23 points (4/7 2PT, 3/8 3PT, 6/9 FT), 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, and 31 EFF for the winning squad.

Lauri Markkanen had 33 points (5/13 2PT, 3/6 3PT, 14/15 FT), 12 rebounds, 3 turnovers, and 33 EFF for Finland.

Lauri Markkanen was an unstoppable force for Finland in the first quarter, scoring 11 points and delivering highlights with a step-back three and a couple of monster dunks.

Powered by their leader's buckets, Finland was in front by 14 points at the start of the second quarter (30-16) but Deni Avdija brought Israel back to the game.

The Washington Wizards forward stopped Markkanen with high-intensity defense and together with veteran Guy Pnini organized a 17-7 run on the offensive end to tie the match at 40, after 20 playing minutes.

Israel: Deni Avdija 23 (15 REB), Tomer Ginat 13 (5 REB), Nimrod Levi 10 (5 REB), Guy Pnini 10.

Finland: Lauri Markkanen 33 (12 REB), Alexander Madsen 13, Edon Maxhuni 11 (6 REB).

Highlights



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