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Clippers center Ivica Zubac helps lead Croatia to comeback win over Poland at FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers

Ivica Zubac finished 19 points and 10 rebounds in the comeback win.

Croatia vs Finland - FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifying Photo by Goran Kovacic/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

Back at the end of June, the LA Clippers and Ivica Zubac agreed to a three-year, $32.8 million extension that will see the center remain in Los Angeles through the 2024-25 season. It rewarded Zubac for the improvements he’s made as a player during his time with the team, but also put faith in him continuing to develop his game.

On Thursday night at the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers in Warsaw, Poland, Zubac showed some of the game that the team believes is in there. Zubac finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in 31 minutes as Croatia knocked off Poland, 72-69.

Zubac, who shot 8 of 11 overall from the field, scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the second half, including clutch free throws with 36 seconds remaining to extend Croatia’s slim lead.

Croatia trailed by 10 points entering halftime, but they turned things around as they outscored Poland by 12 points in the third quarter thanks in large part to a quick 8-0 run shortly after intermission.

The Croatian team has notable NBA talent on it in the forms of Mario Hezonja, Dario Saric (Phoenix Suns) and Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah Jazz). Bogdanovic finished with 16 points.

Zubac, 25, played in 76 of the Clippers’ 82 games during the 2021-22 season, finishing with career highs in minutes (24.4), points (10.3), rebounds (8.5), assists (1.6), blocks (1.0) and steals (0.5) while shooting 62.6% from the field.

Croatia continues their FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers journey Sunday, Aug. 28, against Switzerland in what will be a Croatian home game. Unfortunately for Zubac, Croatia’s final four games in group play won’t be until Nov. 10, Nov. 13, Feb. 23 and Feb. 26, rendering Zubac unable to participate due to the ongoing NBA season.

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