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Ivica Zubac, Croatia come up short against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece in EuroBasket opener

The Clippers’ center played solidly despite the losing effort.

Croatia v Greece: Group C - FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images

While EuroBasket 2022 officially got underway on Thursday thanks to Group A and Group B play, if you are a fan of the LA Clippers then it really began on Friday as Croatia took on Greece in Group C action.

Ivica Zubac, the Clippers’ starting center, got the starting nod for Croatia against Greece, who were led by the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Croatia got off to a solid start but eventually fell victim to a major first half run that saw Greece take a 46-30 lead into the half. But Croatia, as they did in their FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers game against Poland, rallied with a third quarter spurt to claw back into this one.

During that third quarter, Croatia scored more points (32) than they did in the entire first half (30) and trimmed the deficit down to 8 going into the fourth and final frame. Unfortunately for Croatia, they couldn’t quite complete the comeback like they did against Poland, eventually falling to Greece, 89-85.

Zubac finished with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 29 minutes.

The big center gave Antetokounmpo some issues by being a consistent rim protector which forced the two-time NBA MVP into jumpers several times. In the end, Antetokounmpo tallied 27 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks but shot just 9 of 24 from the field.

Tyler Dorsey also had 27 points for Greece, shooting 9 of 17 from the field and hitting 5 of his 9 tries from deep. Dorsey carried Greece in the first half, scoring 20 of his 27, while Antetokounmpo closed the show down the stretch with stunning defense and clutch buckets.

Croatia will have to pick themselves off the mat and get ready for their second Group C game which will take place on Saturday against Great Britain.

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