Third quarters are becoming something of a Croatian staple.
Croatia used a post-halftime rally to get them back into their EuroBasket 2022 opener against Greece on Friday before using more of the same on Saturday in order to net their first win of the tournament as they defeated Great Britain, 86-65.
Croatia took a scant 6-point lead into the halftime break before using a 17-2 run over the first five minutes of third quarter to stretch that lead up to 21. They never looked back. Croatia won the third quarter, 35-9.
After starting at center on Friday, LA Clippers center Ivica Zubac came off the bench on Saturday. However, the impact appeared to be greater as he was one of the more instrumental pieces in the blowout.
Zubac finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks on a perfect 6 of 6 shooting in 18 minutes. Croatia outscored Great Britain by 24 points with Zubac on the floor.
Despite not starting the game, Zubac got the nod to begin the third quarter. That’s when things appeared to change for Croatia as the big man put up 9 points, 4 rebounds (3 offensive) and 3 blocks in the frame.
Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah Jazz) and Dario Saric (Phoenix Suns), two of Zubac’s Croatian teammates, each tallied 15 points in the win. Saric also netted 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Mario Hezonja, a former top five pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Through the opening two games of group stage play, Croatia has outscored the opposition 67-33 in third quarters. This is nothing new for them. Croatia used a 28-16 third quarter to defeat Poland in the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers.
Croatia’s next game will be against Estonia on Monday.