Markkanen drops 43 and makes Finland's history in Bogdanovic's last NT game

2022-09-11 14:34

Lauri Markkanen registered a new-career high 43 points to take down star-studded Croatia and book a meet-up with Spain in the EuroBasket quarterfinals.

Credit: FIBA

Bojan Bogdanovic played his last national team match in his career, while star-studded Croatia failed to prove doubters wrong at EuroBasket 2022. The Balkan country fell short against fantastic Lauri Markkanen & Finland, 94-86 (21-20, 22-25, 22-22, 27-21), and extended its medal drought which lasts since 1995.

Meanwhile, Finland made their basketball history by entering the EuroBasket quarterfinals stage for the first time ever. The team will face Spain in the next phase.

Shawn Huff made a three-pointer, Edon Maxhuni poured in two free throws, Sasu Salin  converted another bomb from deep, and Finland went on a crucial 8-0 run with 3:30 to go in the duel (85-77).

Player of the Game
Lauri  Markkanen
Lauri Markkanen
Points 43
Accuracy 19-29
Rebounds 9
Assists 3

Lauri Markkanen registered his 40-point night and Finland had plus 10 for the first time in the game with 2:20 to play (87-77). Mario Hezonja cut Croatia's deficit to 5 points (84-89) with 70 seconds left on the clock, but Edon Maxhuni and Lauri Markkanen got the job done for the Finns (94-84).

Markkanen set a new record for the highest-scoring game by a Finnish player in a major tournament, including EuroBasket, World Cup, and Olympics.

The Utah Jazz big man finished the game with a career-high 43 points (17/23 2PT, 2/6 3PT, 3/4 FT), 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 47 EFF.

He also matched Dirk Nowitzki's 43-point EuroBasket record with the German national team. Only 6 players scored more points in the entire EuroBasket history.

Powered by Sasu Salin's three successful shots from downtown and Lauri Markkanen's two-point buckets, Finland was up by eight (18-10) in the mid-first quarter. However, Croatia closed the period with an 11-2 run to gain a one-point advantage (21-20) after 10 playing minutes.

The game went close in the second tally, as it was the technical fouls party at the end of the quarter. Bojan Bogdanovic, Dario Saric, and coach Damir Mulaomerovic received technical fouls for complaining about the referees' decisions, and Finland was up by two at halftime (45-43).

Like the second period, the third quarter went neck-on-neck, but Lauri Markkanen tipped in a two-pointer with 0.1 seconds to play to give Finland the same two-point cushion before the last 10 minutes of the match (67-65).

Finland: Lauri Markkanen 43 (9 REB), Sasu Salin 23 (5 REB), Edon Maxhuni 16. 

Croatia: Bojan Bogdanovic 23 (5 REB), Jaleen Smith 17, Dario Saric 12 (9 REB, 6 AST), Karlo Matkovic 11, Krunoslav Simon 11.

Lauri Markkanen's performance:

Game highlights:

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