The Phoenix Suns finally got another victory at home - in their last chance of the season. Luis Scola had 26 points and 15 rebounds, Goran Dragic (190-PG-86) added 21 points and 14 assists and Phoenix snapped a franchise-record seven-game home losing streak with a 119-112 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night in the Suns' final home game. Markieff Morris had 20 points and had career highs of six blocked shots and five steals for the Suns, who despite the victory finished with the second-worst home record in club history. P.J. Tucker added 21 points for the balanced Phoenix offense, which went small without a true center all night. Dragic, who played part of the third and all of the fourth quarter with a bandage over his left eye after a cut that required three stitches, called it his team's most complete game of the season. "Everybody was involved, everybody was making shots," Dragic said. " (Markieff), he was amazing. He was blocking every shot almost. On defense, we were talking and we played well. If we would play like this earlier, for sure we would be close to the playoffs." Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter, who doesn't know if he'll be back next season, liked the effort for the home finale. "Hopefully these list couple of games is an indication of some things that we got better at," he said. "We didn't get to where we wanted to, but I think that we got better in a lot of different ways." Carlos Delfino points scored 22, including 6 of 9 3-pointers, and Jeremy Lin 20 for the Rockets, who fell a game behind Golden State for the No. 6 playoff spot in the West. The Rockets are a game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 7 spot. Houston finishes its regular season at the Lakers on Wednesday night. "We never had any kind of control of this game at all," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. " They had control of it all night. We made a couple of runs where we thought we would be OK. In the second quarter, we had a couple of things where I thought we could back in the game. We played very poorly. We had bad shot selection, we missed some shots, they posted us up, they got everything they wanted and we couldn't stop them defensively. "We are going to play a very determined L.A. team. We have to play well." James Harden managed just 15 points on 5-for-18 shooting, 0 for 7 from 3-point range. That's 10.5 points below his season average. "I think that has been one of our problems all season - focus," Lin said. "It usually comes with a younger team. At this point of the season, it is really not an excuse. Every game means so much. We are talking about playoff seeding. We are talking about matchups and things that are more important than anything we played for all season." Despite the victory, Phoenix finished with its second-worst home record in franchise history at 17-24. With one game to go, the Suns are 25-56 and guaranteed the second-worst record in team history. Only the 16-66 inaugural season of 1968-69 was worse. "We all know it was a rough year," Scola said, "but I wish the year would have 100 games left so we could turn this around. The day we finish the year we can start thinking about next season and I'm looking forward to that." Houston never caught the Suns in the second half, cutting it to 75-71 on Omer Asik's dunk with 8:03 left in the third. Phoenix had its highest-scoring quarter of a season with 39 in the first and their highest-scoring half in building a 67-61 lead at the break. The Suns stretched it to as much as a 12-point lead late in the third and were up 90-83 entering the fourth. Houston kept it to single-digits most of the fourth with Patrick Beverley's 3-pointer cutting the lead to 103-101 with 6:20 to go. But two baskets by Morris and a driving layup by Dragic made it 109-101. The Rockets never got closer than five again. Dragic scored six and Wesley Johnson five in a 13-2 run that put the Suns up 35-23 with 1:47 left in the first. But with Harden on the bench, the Rockets rallied in the second quarter with a 7-0 spurt. Delfino sank a 3, then James Anderson dunked and Greg Smith scored inside, putting Houston up 52-50 with 6:05 left in the half. Phoenix regained the lead 56-55 on a fastbreak basket by Jared Dudley, after a behind-the-back assist from Dragic, 2:51 before halftime. It was part of a 15-2 outburst that made it 65-57 on Tucker's layup. Courtesy of: usatoday.com
Luka Doncic selected the top Slovenian playing abroad in last week's games - 2 hours ago
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We bring you last week's top performances from Slovenians who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. This week's number one is an international point guard Luka Doncic (201-99). Heto a victory against the eighth-ranked Darussafaka in the Euroleague in Wednesday night's game.
We bring you last week's top performances from Slovenians who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.
#1. This week's number one is an international point guard Luka Doncic (201-99, currently plays in Euroleague). He led his Spanish team Real Madrid to a victory against the eighth-ranked Darussafaka (16-14) 88-81 in the Euroleague in Wednesday night's game.
Doncic scored 13 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 26 minutes on the court.
Real Madrid (23-7) is placed first in the Euroleague.
It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
This year Doncic averages: 8.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 4.3apg, 2FGP: 52.9%, 3FGP: 39.0% and FT: 83.1% in 33 games he played so far.
He is currently a member of the Slovenian senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to an international center Gasper Vidmar (211-87, currently plays in Basketball Champions League). Vidmar contributed to Banvit's victory against the leader Monaco (12-2) 83-74 in the Basketball Champions League last Friday.
He recorded 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
It was the game of the round between two top 2 ranked teams in group A. Banvit Basketbol Kulubu (11-3) is placed second.
Vidmar has relatively good stats this season: 11.3ppg, 5.6rpg, 2FGP: 69.9%(79-113) and FT: 47.5%.
He is in the roster of the Slovenian senior national team.
#3. The Slovenian player who performed third best last week abroad was former international center Mirza Begic (216-85, currently plays in Croatia). Begic was the major contributor in Cedevita's victory against the closely-ranked Jolly (20-6) 85-66 in the Croatian A1 on Wednesday night.
He had a double-double by scoring 13 points and getting 10 rebounds. Begic also added 3 blocks in 22 minutes.
KK Cedevita Zagreb (18-8) is placed sixth in the A1.
This year Begic's overall stats are: 5.2ppg, 3.2rpg, 2FGP: 75.0%(12-16) and FT: 58.3% in six games.
He has a dual citizenship: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenian.
Former Triglav Kranj starter played for the Slovenian national team four years ago.
#4. Forward Edo Muric (202-91, currently plays in Turkey) is a teammate of previously mentioned Gasper Vidmar. But that was another game of his team in Turkish BSL which we would like to mention.
Muric contributed to an easy victory against the league outsider TED Kolejliler (2-25) crushing them 97-71.
He scored 12 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Banvit Basketbol Kulubu (18-9) is placed fifth in the BSL.
Muric's total stats this season are: 7.7ppg, 3.8rpg and 1.8apg.
He is also Slovenian national team player.
#5. International guard Jaka Blazic (196-90, currently plays in Euroleague) could not help Baskonia (17-13) in their last game. Despite Blazic's good performance Baskonia was edged 90-88 at home by the second-ranked CSKA.
He scored 10 points and had 3 steals in only 11 minutes.
This year Blazic's total stats are: 4.7ppg and 2.1rpg in 33 games.
He plays currently for the Slovenian national team.
#6. Point guard Domen Bratoz (189-93, currently plays in Estonia) led Rapla to a victory over the league leader Tartu Ulikool (29-3) 70-60 in the Estonian Alexela KML on Friday night.
Bratoz was MVP of the game. He recorded 25 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. AVIS UTILITAS Rapla (20-12) is placed second in the Alexela KML.
This season Bratoz has relatively solid stats: 14.0ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.7apg and 2.1spg.
He is an international player who is currently on the senior Slovenian National Team roster.
#7. An experienced former international small forward Nebojsa Joksimovic (193-81, agency: PEPI SPORT, currently plays in Croatia) contributed to Cibona's victory against the closely-ranked KK Zadar (19-7) 95-81 in the Croatian A1 last Thursday.
He recorded 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
KK Cibona VIP Zagreb (20-6) is placed fourth in the A1.
It was his team's fifth consecutive victory in a row.
Joksimovic has averaged so far 6.6ppg, 2.3rpg and 2.4apg.
He used to play for the Slovenian national team
two years ago.
#8. Forward Jure Balazic (204-80, currently plays in Turkey) was not able to help Gaziantep (13-14) in their last game. Despite Balazic's very good performance Gaziantep lost 59-67 on their home court in Gaziantep to the higher-ranked (#3) Besiktas.
He was the top scorer with 16 points in 29 minutes.
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
Balazic has averaged so far 7.7ppg, 2.6rpg and 1.4apg in 27 games.
He used to play for the Slovenian national team
back in 2015.
#9. International center Alen Omic (216-92, currently plays in Spain) was not able to secure a victory for Unicaja Malaga (19-10) in their game against FC Barcelona (20-9) in the Spanish Liga Endesa.
Omic scored 8 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Unicaja Malaga was badly defeated 89-70 on the road by the higher-ranked FC Barcelona (#3).
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial.
Omic has averaged so far 6.1ppg and 5.2rpg.
He is also in the roster of the Slovenian national team.
#10. Forward Blaz Mahkovic (201-90, also represented by PEPI SPORT, currently plays in Bosnia) contributed to an easy victory against the fourth-ranked Sloboda Tuzla (5-5) crushing them 103-65 in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Division I on Wednesday night.
Mahkovic scored 12 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
BC Igokea Aleksandrovac (9-1) is placed first in Liga 6 group.
It was his team's ninth consecutive victory in a row.
It's Mahkovic's first season with the team.
He has averaged so far 6.6ppg, 3.1rpg and 1.2apg.
Mahkovic is an international player who is currently on the senior Slovenian National Team roster.
#11. International swingman Jaka Klobucar (198-87, currently plays in Turkey) contributed to an Istanbul BBSK's victory against one of league's weakest teams Balikesir 84-77 in the Turkish BSL in Saturday night's game.
He scored 13 points, had 4 rebounds and dished 5 assists in 24 minutes.
Klobucar has reliable stats this year: 11.7ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.4apg and 1.5spg in 26 games.
He plays currently for the Slovenian national team.
#12. International guard Klemen Prepelic (191-92, currently plays in France) couldn't help Limoges CSP Elite (14-15) in their last game on Tuesday. Despite Prepelic's very good performance Limoges CSP Elite was defeated 92-88 on the opponent's court by the leading Monaco.
He was the top scorer with 16 points (was perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line).
Prepelic has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 15.7ppg, 2.9rpg and 3.7apg.
Prepelic is also in the roster of the Slovenian national team.
#13. Former U20 international guard Maj Kovacevic (196-90, currently plays in Croatia) contributed to an easy victory against the 11th-ranked Alkar Sinj crushing them 101-67 in the Croatian A1 on Sunday night.
He scored 11 points in a mere 16 minutes.
Kovacevic's stats this year are: 12.7ppg, 1.4rpg and 1.4apg in 14 games.
He used to play for the Slovenian U20 national team
seven years ago.
#14. International small forward Vlatko Cancar (201-97, agency: BeoBasket, currently plays in Serbia) couldn't help Mega Leks in their game against FMP in the Serbian KLS.
Cancar recorded 8 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
His team was badly defeated by 20 points 90-70.
He has averaged so far 6.0ppg and 5.0rpg.
Cancar plays currently for the Slovenian national team.
#15. Former U20 international guard Boban Tomic (190-88, currently plays in Slovakia) was the main contributor in a Rieker KN's victory against the league leader Kosice 81-65 in the Slovakian SBL last Saturday.
He was the best player in that game. Tomic scored 20 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished 8 assists in 36 minutes.
He averaged so far 14.7ppg, 3.2rpg, 6.6apg and 1.4spg in 24 games.
Tomic used to play for the Slovenian U20 national team
nine years ago.
The list of other players, who all have Slovenian passport but never been selected to any of Slovenian national teams:
#1.Kevin Pangos (188-PG-93, college: Gonzaga, currently plays in Lithuania) contributed to Zalgiris' victory against the fifth-ranked Juventus (19-17) 90-76 in the Lithuanian LKL in Wednesday night's game.
Pangos scored 9 points and added 8 passes in 29 minutes.
B.C. Zalgiris Kaunas (33-3) is placed first in the LKL.
It was his team's 11th consecutive victory in a row.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
It's Pangos' first season with the team.
He has averaged so far 8.6ppg, 2.3rpg and 4.1apg in 36 games he played so far.
Pangos has a dual citizenship: Canadian and Slovenian.
#2.Ivan Marinkovic (209-F/C-93, currently plays in Croatia) could not help one of league's weakest teams KK Zadar (19-7) in their last game. Despite Marinkovic's very good performance KK Zadar lost 81-95 on the road to the higher-ranked (#4) Cibona.
He was the second best scorer with 15 points. Marinkovic also added 5 rebounds in 26 minutes.
Marinkovic has reliable stats this year: 13.4ppg, 4.7rpg and 1.1apg in 26 games.
He is another player who holds two passports: Serbian and Slovenian.
Despite Marinkovic's Slovenian nationality, he previously played for the Serbian U20 national team and is probably not eligible to play for the Slovenian team.
#3. Experienced Vlado Ilievski (188-PG-80, agency: BeoBasket, currently plays in FYR Macedonia) led Rabotnicki to a victory against the leader MZT Skopje (8-1) 78-70 in a derby game in the FYR Macedonian Prva Liga on Saturday night.
He scored 15 points and added 9 passes in 37 minutes.
It was the game of the round between two top 3 ranked teams in group Places 1-6. KK Rabotnicki AD Skopje (7-3) is placed second.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
The Second Stage already ended.
Ilievski averaged so far 11.0ppg, 2.5rpg, 6.5apg and 1.4spg in 22 games.
He has both Slovenian and FYR Macedonian nationalities.
#4.Rasid Mahalbasic (210-C-90, also represented by BeoBasket, currently plays in Spain) was not able to help Sevilla (8-21) in their last game on Saturday. Despite Mahalbasic's good performance Sevilla was badly defeated 89-72 at home by the much higher-ranked FC Barcelona (#3).
He recorded 10 points.
There are only three games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial.
Mahalbasic averaged so far 10.6ppg, 6.3rpg and 1.6apg.
He also holds two passports: Austrian and Slovenian.
#5.Radoslav Pekovic (215-C-94, currently plays in FYR Macedonia) contributed to Kumanovo's victory against the fifth-ranked Feni Industries (2-8) 71-65 in the FYR Macedonian Prva Liga last Wednesday.
Pekovic scored 11 points and blocked 3 blocks in 29 minutes.
KK Kumanovo 2009 (3-6) is placed fourth in Places 1-6 group.
His team will play only one more game in the Second Stage.
Pekovic has averaged so far 7.2ppg and 3.4rpg in 22 games.
#6.Robert Abramovic (185-PG-88, agency: PEPI SPORT, currently plays in Kosovo) led Peja to a victory over the league outsider Vellaznimi crushing them 104-84 in the Kosovan SuperLeague on Saturday night.
He was the top player that evening. Abramovic scored 27 points (!!!), had 6 rebounds and dished 3 assists.
Abramovic has individually a very good season with high stats. He averages: 18.0ppg, 2.9rpg and 3.0apg.
#7.Fuad Memcic (210-C/F-82, agency: Promotex, currently plays in Austria) contributed to an easy victory against one of league's weakest teams UBSC Graz crushing them 98-73 in the Austrian A Bundesliga last Sunday.
Memcic recorded 10 points in 20 minutes.
Memcic has averaged so far 4.0ppg and 1.6rpg in 29 games.
He holds both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenian passports.
#8.Andraz Kavas (208-F-92, agency: Two Points, college: Harding, currently plays in Spain) was not able to secure a victory for Caceres Basket in their game against Magia Huesca in the Spanish LEB Gold (second division). Kavas cannot count Friday's game as one of the best ones.
He recorded only 3 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 12 minutes.
His team was badly defeated by 17 points 77-60.
Kavas has averaged so far 4.7ppg and 2.4rpg in 14 games.
Devin Oliver gets MVP of the Week award for Slovenian Liga Nova KBM (Second Stage) - 2 days ago
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American Devin Oliver (204-SF-92) had a great game in the last round for Un.Olimpija and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 9 (Second Stage). The 24-year old had the game-high 20 points adding nine rebounds and five assists for Un.Olimpija in his team's victory, helping them to edge out Zlatorog (4-5) 88-87. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. Un.Olimpija is placed at 3rd position in Slovenian Liga Nova KBM. Un.Olimpija is a typi... [read more]
American Devin Oliver (204-SF-92) had a great game in the last round for Un.Olimpija and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 9 (Second Stage). The 24-year old had the game-high 20 points adding nine rebounds and five assists for Un.Olimpija in his team's victory, helping them to edge out Zlatorog (4-5) 88-87. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. Un.Olimpija is placed at 3rd position in Slovenian Liga Nova KBM. Un.Olimpija is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. But it was their 5th lost game this season out of 9 games. In the team's last game Oliver had a remarkable 70.0% from 2-point range. He turned to be Un.Olimpija's top player in his first season with the team. University of Dayton graduate has very impressive stats this year. Oliver is in league's top in points (6th best: 15.1ppg), rebounds (5th best: 7.3rpg) and averages solid 65.0% FGP.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 24-year old point guard Jan Span (187-PG-92) of Zlatorog. Span impressed basketball fans with 21 points, 2 rebounds and 7 assists. Bad luck as Zlatorog was edged by slightly higher-ranked Un.Olimpija (4-5) 88-87. It was definitely game of the week between two contenders to the title. Zlatorog still maintains its place in the top 4 of the standings, even despite this loss. His team is not often considered as one of the league's best with a mere 4-5 record. Span is a newcomer at Zlatorog and it seems he did not have too much trouble to become one of team's leaders. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 15.6ppg (#4). He also recorded 3.7 assists per game.
The third best performed player last round was Mirza Sarajlija (187-PG-91, agency: AproK Sports Group) of Tajfun (#8). Sarajlija showcased his all-around game by recording 23 points, six rebounds and four assists in the last round. He was a key player of Tajfun, leading his team to a 75-68 win against slightly lower-ranked Sencur Gor. (#9, 11-8). Tajfun needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 14 victories and 5 lost games. Sarajlija has a very solid season. In 26 games in Slovenia he scored 12.0ppg.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Jure Mocnik (183-PG-85) of Helios - 14 points and 6 assists 5. Mensud Julevic (200-PF-85) of Terme Olimia - 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists 6. Gregor Hrovat (196-G/F-94) of Un.Olimpija - 19 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists 7. Uros Godler (205-C-85) of Hopsi Polzela - 16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists 8. Stevan Milosevic (211-C-85) of Un.Olimpija - 14 points and 3 rebounds 9. Brandon Jefferson (175-PG-91) of Un.Olimpija - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists 10. Ramo Rizvic (200-F-87) of Zlatorog - 16 points and 10 rebounds
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Krka defeted Rogaska 72-68 on road in the game of the Slovenian League Champioship Stage Round 9 to claim home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Rogaska-Krka 68-72: Krka opened the fourth quarter with eight points in a row for a 61-52 lead, the largest margin of the game, with less than five minutes left. Rogaska cut the deficit to 65-68 with 26 seconds left. Ron Curry (191-G-93, college: JMU) made a pair of free throw to extend Krka's advatange to five points and, on the next pos... [read more]
Krka defeted Rogaska 72-68 on road in the game of the Slovenian League Champioship Stage Round 9 to claim home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Rogaska-Krka 68-72: Krka opened the fourth quarter with eight points in a row for a 61-52 lead, the largest margin of the game, with less than five minutes left. Rogaska cut the deficit to 65-68 with 26 seconds left. Ron Curry (191-G-93, college: JMU) made a pair of free throw to extend Krka's advatange to five points and, on the next possession, Dragisa Drobnjak (200-F-77) again reduced the score to three, 67-70. Rogaska immediately fouled Ziga Dimec (211-C-93), who missed both free throws, but Ron Curry was fouled on rebound. American made a pair of foul shots as Krka secure home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Krka outrebounded Rogaska 50-35, picking up 19 offensive rebounds. Sandi Cebular (195-G-86) finished with 18 points, Ziga Dimec came off the bench for 14 points and 10 rebounds and Ron Curry scored 10 points, making just one of his 10 field goal attempts. Rogaska was led by Tadej Ferme (185-PG-91) with 16 points, Dragisa Drobnjak poured in 13 points, Dee Davis (183-PG-93, college: Xavier) had 11 points and 6 assists and Taylor Johns (201-F, college: Cal-Riverside) added 10 points.
Union Olimpija-Zlatorog 88-87: The game featured 20 lead changes and 13 ties and the largest lead for either team was eight points, held by Olimpija at 17-9 midway through the opening quarter. Zlatorog used an 8-1 run to turn a one-point deficit into a 79-73 lead with 4:20 remaining and was ahead by five going into the final two minutes. At that point, Brandon Jefferson (175-PG-91, college: Metro St.) scored seven straight points to put Olimpija up 86-84. A 3-pointer by Jernej Ledl (191-G-97) gave Zlatorog a one-point lead. On the next possession, Olimpija's Jan Barbaric (188-G-95) missed a lay-up, but Devin Oliver (204-SF-92, college: Dayton) grabbed an offensive rebound and made a game-winning layup. Zlatorog had the final actiona of the game and Nejc Baric (181-PG-97) missed a lay-up at the buzzer. Devin Oliver finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, Brandon Jefferson (175-PG-91, college: Metro St.) scored 20 points, Gregor Hrovat (196-G/F-94) 19 and Stevan Milosevic (211-C-85) 14. Zlatorog was led by Jan Span (187-PG-92) with 21 points and 7 assists, Nejc Baric (181-PG-97) added 19 points, Ramo Rizvic (200-F-87) had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Urban Durnik (201-PF-97) netted 12 points. Hopsi-Helios Suns 83-70: After trailing 16-30 after the opening quarter, Hopsi opened the second quarter with a 19-3 run to take a 35-33 lead and never looked back from there. Hopsi took control of the game behind a 16-2 run to go up 56-38 midway through the third quarter. Hopsi has six players in double scoring figures including all five staters. Uros Godler (205-C-85) came off the bench for 16 points, Dejan Cup (202-PF-83) and Milojko Vasilic (207-C-89) both scored 12 points, Zan Kosic (185-G-93) 11, Alen Hodzic (192-SF-92) and Jakob Cebasek (200-G/F-91) posted 10 points apiece. Helios was led by Jure Mocnik (183-PG-85) with 14 points, Luka Voncina (193-G-91, college: Charlotte) added 13, Simo Atanackovic (206-F-90) 12 and Urban Oman (98) 10.
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