NBA Summer League: Croatia Plays Best Yet, Fails to Win Against Dallas Mavericks

Daniela Rogulj

The Croatia basketball team suffered their fourth defeat of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where the Dallas Mavericks were better with a score of 79-71 (19-17, 22-8, 20-21, 18-25).

After Croatia nearly won against the Oklahoma Magic (84:76), where they led after three quarters but failed to keep momentum in the last, they were unlucky once again in their fourth game of the NBA Summer League against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday to lose 79-71, reports Sportske Novosti on July 11, 2019.

Roko Rogić scored 15 points and six assists to lead Croatia, while Pavel Marčinkovic, Antonio Vranković, and Mateo Drežnjak scored 12 points. Shayne Whittington with 19 points and Josh Reaves with 15 were the most efficient for Dallas, who achieved three victories in Las Vegas with one defeat.

Veljko Mršić’s squad has just one game left, though the name of their opponent for the consolation games of the tournament will be revealed after the group games are completed. 

After convincing defeats to Detroit Pistons (96-80) and Brooklyn Nets (74-58), in Croatia’s last two appearances, they stoutly resisted Oklahoma City Thunder (84-76) and Dallas (79-71).

In the second half, Croatia only allowed the Mavericks to score 8 points and entered into the halftime with a 16-point advantage (41-25). 

With several positive bouts in the second half, the Croatia national team surprised the NBA side, and after Željko Šakić’s three-pointer and Roko Rogić’s free throw, Dallas’s advantage was reduced to only four points in the last 60 seconds of the game. Still, the Mavericks managed to finish with a series of 4-0 to avoid total uncertainty in the end.

“Well done, boys. We played a super second half, and we also showed character. We played to the end, gave an excellent opponent a hard time, and of the teams we played against, maybe all three will finish among the top eight in the Summer League. What we said when we came here is that the goal is to find players for qualifications, and we got much more than our predictions. This is a group of players that we can only commend. Against Dallas, we played our best match,” said coach Veljko Mršić after the game.

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