Croats in NBA: Dario Saric Scores 24 Points for Suns, Samanic Debuts for Spurs

Daniela Rogulj

March 7, 2020 – Dario Saric achieved his best offensive game of the season in the 127-117 Phoenix Suns’ home win against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Croatian basketball player Dario Saric recorded the best performance of the season for points in the 127-117 Phoenix Suns home win against the Portland Trail Blazers, scoring 24 points in 38:05 minutes on the court (two-pointers 7/9, three-pointers 2/4, free throws 4/5) and also recorded eight rebounds, three steals, and one block.

Saric’s best offensive performance so far was the 23 points he scored against Atlanta on November 14 last year.

The Suns dominated the entire game, leading from the first to the last minute, and in the third quarter had the most significant 26-point advantage. 

The Suns were led by Aaron Baynes with 37 points and 16 rebounds, while Devin Booker added 23 points and 12 assists.

Mario Hezonja was given a chance for Portland and scored three points in 13:03 minutes on the court (two-pointers 0/1, three-pointers 1/1 shot) with three assists and one block. The guests were led by three players who scored over 20 points – CJ McCollum with 25 points, Damian Lillard with 24 points, and Hassan Whiteside with 23 points and 20 rebounds.

Bojan Bogdanovic didn’t have the best night in Boston, but the Utah Jazz still beat the Celtics 99-94. In 25:49 minutes on the court, Bogdanovic scored just eight points (two-pointers 1/4, three-pointers 1/5, free throws 3/3) with four rebounds and one assist. Bogdanovic and Mitchell, who scored only 11 points, were offset by Mike Conley, who scored 25 for the Jazz, while the Celtics, without Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward, can thank Marcus Smart, who scored 29 points on his 26th birthday. 

20-year-old Luka Samanic made his NBA debut on Friday, spending exactly 12 minutes on the court in the 120-139 San Antonio Spurs loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Samanic missed all four shots but recorded two rebounds and three assists. Samanic got a chance in Brooklyn since Spurs coach Gregg Popovich could not count on LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Belinelli and Jacob Poeltl.

The Nets won thanks to the triple-double by Caris LeVert, who scored 27 points with 11 rebounds and 10 assists, while DeMar DeRozan, with 24 rebounds, was the best for the Spurs.


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