Croatia’s run at EuroBasket 2022 has come to an end.
On Sunday in Berlin, Croatia took the floor against Finland and come out on the losing side, 94-86. The biggest reason was due to Lauri Markkanen, who now plays for the Utah Jazz after getting dealt by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the larger Donovan Mitchell trade.
Markkanen, who has powered Finland to incredible heights during the tournament, finished with 43 points on 19 of 29 shooting. He also added 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Markkanen had come into the Round of 16 game averaging 24.8 points on 48.6% shooting.
Ivica Zubac, who had started four of Croatia’s five Group C games, came off the bench in this one and only played 3 minutes. In fact, Zubac did not actually enter the game until the 3:03 mark in the second quarter. The reliable LA Clippers big man did not register a single point or rebound, notching only one field goal attempt in his time on the floor.
Walking with a noticeable limp at times, Zubac was unable to make an impact. Whether it’s a more serious injury remains to be seen and won’t be known for a little bit of time. The hope would be, at least at first glance, that it’s nothing more than a tweaked ankle that can work itself out.
The rumor going around is that Zubac had been unable to practice for Croatia recently due to the ankle injury which might have come in Croatia’s previous game against Ukraine.
Zubac came into this game averaging 11.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks on 66.7% shooting during the tournament.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Markkanen’s teammate in Utah, finished with 23 points to lead Croatia. Dario Saric (Phoenix Suns) had 12 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.