A big day of EuroKnicking was a success for all teams involved.
Latvia beat Russia 84-69 (nice) to get into first place in group D. Lithuania took care of Ukraine 94-62, to get into first place in group B. France beat Poland 78-75 to stay in second place in group A, and Spain handed Croatia its first L after beating them 79-73.
Latvia 84, Russia 69:
Kristaps Porzingis’s Latvia team jumped Russia for first place in group D after coming back from large early deficits and taking care of them pretty handedly. KP, who loves basketball, got into some early foul trouble which ultimately affected his game. He played 23 minutes and scored just 11 points and grabbed 4 boards. He also finished the game with 3 turnovers and 5 fouls.
He maaaayyy have gotten posterized by former Knicks and current Net Timofey Mozgov:
We gonna sit here and act like Timofey Mozgov didn't just throw it down over Kristaps Porzingis? pic.twitter.com/TVzYmqY1uN— Per Sources (@PerSources) September 5, 2017
Speaking of former Knicks, Alexey Shved led Russia with 21 points. Doesn’t matter, though! Latvia has punched their ticket to the knockout stages which means we get to see more EuroKP!!!
Lithuania 94, Ukraine 62:
Mindaugas Kuzminskas will also be moving on to the knockout rounds as Lithuania crushed Ukraine this morning in Tel Aviv. The Kuz dropped 17 points, grabbed 2 boards, dished 2 assists and had a steal in the game. He also continued to show off his moxie with this buzzer-beating trey:
Nice team W and we advanced to @FIBA #eurobasket2017 play-offs! One more game tomorrow and we're off to Istanbul #mesuzlietuva #basketball pic.twitter.com/fsOKG9DYzE— Mindaugas Kuzminskas (@MKuzminskas) September 5, 2017
Cheese has been pretty excellent in this tournament as Lithuania’s sixth-man. Let’s hope this will translate well into the NBA season.
France 78, Poland 75:
SummerKnick Louis Labeyrie played 16 and a half good minutes for France in their playoff clinching win over Poland this morning. He scored just 3 points, but grabbed 7 boards, had 1 assist, and 1 steal in the game. There are no highlights of him today but here’s 60 seconds of him against Iceland!
Louis Labeyrie contre l'Islande en moins de 60 secondes, un deep (purple) résumé! https://t.co/VIIqdNFOXp #basketball #eurobasket17 pic.twitter.com/bU4Oi4wXRq— PureFrenchBasketball (@ElFlyingGato) September 4, 2017
We don’t get to see much of Louis, so it is nice to see him play solidly when we do. Keep winning, Louis!
Spain 79, Croatia 73:
Willy Hernangómez didn’t do much in Spain’s big game against Croatia, but the Spaniards still got the dub. Willy played just 10 minutes, scoring just 2 points but grabbing 4 boards and giving out 2 assists.
Juancho Hernangómez was given much more playing time after his big performance yesterday, but did not make the most of it. He scored 9 points, and picked up 4 rebounds before getting into some foul trouble.
Still, Spain is moving on to the next round!
France plays Slovenia and Lithuania plays Germany tomorrow, both at 7:45 AM ET. Spain takes on Hungary Thursday at 10:15 AM ET, and Latvia finishes off their group stage slate against Turkey at 1:45 PM ET.
Keep winnin’, EuroKnicks!