Sweden stun Russia, Spain win at Euros
By Nesha Starcevic ,AP
September 9, 2013, 12:09 am TWN
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia -- Sweden upset Russia 81-62 for its first win at the European basketball championship on Saturday.
Russia, the Olympic bronze medalist last year and third-place finisher at the Euros two years ago, looks unlikely to make the second round after three straight defeats. Sweden is 1-2.
Also, defending champion Spain limited the Czech Republic to two points in the final quarter and ran away with a 60-39 victory despite some poor shooting of its own.
Slovenia stayed perfect by edging Georgia 72-68, while Greece also went 3-0 by beating winless Turkey 84-61.
Italy cruised past Finland 62-44 in Koper, while Croatia let a seemingly secure lead slip away before holding on for a 74-70 victory over winless Poland in Celje.
Jeffery Taylor scored 25 points to lead Sweden and NBA forward Jonas Jerebko added 22 points and 13 rebounds in the Group D game in Koper as their team pulled away in the final quarter.
Trailing by a point, Taylor and Jerebko combined for 12 as Sweden went on a 16-3 run to open a 50-38 cushion.
Sweden, starting with 17-year-old Ludvig Hakanson at point guard, overcame 22 turnovers and kept Russia to 3-for-17 from three-point range. The Swedes also controlled the boards, 44-31.
Aleksey Shved had 15 points for Russia.
Spain missed its last seven 3-point attempts and was almost as ineffective as the Czechs in the fourth — Spain outscored the Czechs 4-2 in the quarter until less than three minutes remained.
Spain shot only 32 percent from the field, but the Czechs were even worse at 24 percent. The Czechs pulled within five late in the third quarter but Spain then clamped down on defense.
Rudy Fernandez had 14 points and Ricky Rubio added 10 for Spain. Marc Gasol scored his only basket halfway into the third quarter but pulled down 10 rebounds.
"We were terrible in the attack. Our defense wasn't all that bad but the attack was miserable," Czech guard Jiri Welsch said.
Jan Vesely had seven points and 14 rebounds and Lubos Barton had 12 rebounds and five points for the Czechs, who fell to 1-2. Spain is 2-1 in Group C.
In Italy's third straight win, Luigi Datome had 10 points. Finland fell to 2-1.
Croatia's Bojan Bogdanovic led all scorers with 23 points while Michal Ignerski had 22 points and 12 rebounds for Poland.
Croatia led 62-49 after three quarters but allowed Poland to come within one.
With the game on the line, Lukasz Koszarek missed an uncontested 3-point attempt that would have tied it and Bogdanovic scored on the fast break to put the game away. Croatia is 2-1.
Playing without the injured guard Vassilis Spanoulis, Greece shot 61.5 percent from the field and made 10 of 15 3-point shots. Center Yannis Bourousis led Greece with 21 points and guard Nikos Zisis had 11 assists.
In Celje, Slovenia held off Georgia as Domen Lorbek scored eight of his 18 points with the game on the line. Zoran Dragic also made a jumper with six seconds remaining to secure the victory.
Viktor Sanikidze had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Ricky Hickman added 19 points for Georgia, which is 1-2.