Dragic scores 28, Slovenia continues EuroBasket run
By the time Greece realized it was Goran Dragic's night, he had already scored 11 points in the first four minutes.
When Greece finally cut a 26-point deficit to six in the closing stages, Dragic finished the job.
The Suns' point guard continued an outstanding run in EuroBasket 2013 in his home country of Slovenia, scoring a game-high 28 points. The effort eclipsed his 25-point outing in an overtime loss to Croatia one week ago.
It was also too much for Greece to handle, as the host nation's team advanced to the quarterfinals along with other Group C teams Spain and Croatia.
The Suns' point guard wasted no time putting his team in front. He provided all 11 of Slovenia's first points, scoring inside and out. By the time he cooled off, his teammates' were doing their damage on the inside and on the glass.
Dragic was back at it in the second quarter, hitting a deep three-pointer and cutting down the middle on fastbreak for an easy layup.
He started the second half in passing mode, hitting Jaka Blazic in stride on the break before finding another teammate open in the corner for a three-pointer. A floater and cutting layup from Dragic pushed the lead to 26.
The Greeks made their move with the Slovene star on the bench, outscoring Slovenia by 11 in the final three minutes of the third quarter. The push continued in the fourth as their opponents' shooting cooled off, until Greece cut the lead to six with a minute remaining.
Dragic and teammate Mirza Begic quieted the threat, with the latter deflecting a pass and the Suns' playmaker taking advantage. He coralled the ball and raced down the court before sinking a hanging layup over a defender, putting the game out of reach.
Slovenia's final game of the second round will be against Finland on Monday at 12:00 p.m. PST.