Serbia used a timely 12-2 run to start the 3rd quarter and another impressive 11-0 run to start the 4th to drop Italy, which featured Toronto Raptors’ big man Andrea Bargnani, Wednesday 80-68 in Day 1 of EuroBasket 2011.
Italy opened the contest with an 18-10 first quarter lead, however after their quick start would allow Serbia to get back in the game and take the lead for good going into intermission up six points.
The Serbian National Team took a 35-29 lead into the half, but used a silencing 12-2 third quarter run to push that lead all the way to 16 with just 7:06 left in the period.
Italy, led by Bargnani’s game-high 22 points and 9 rebounds, would charge right back, however, cutting Serbia’s cushion to just four points with 48 seconds remaining in the third on an impressive up-and-under layup by the aforementioned Raptors big man.
That’s when Serbia got to work again on the defensive end capitalizing on the Italians miscues, ultimately, pushing their lead back to 15 after a stifling 11-0 run to begin the fourth and final quarter.
Italy attempted to mount another late rally, however their efforts fell short as Serbia put them away with an 80-68 defeat in the end.
New Orleans’ Hornets guard and Italian backcourt member Marco Belinelli struggled mightily on the day hitting just 2-of-11 shots and just 1-of-7 from 3-point range for just 9 points in 32 minutes of action. He did manage a team-high 5 assists however.
Italy shot a remarkably low 2-of-17 from three for just 11.8%. Serbia, on the other hand, was much more effective moving the ball swiftly in their offense getting much better open looks resulting in a 9-of-26 shooting effort from deep for 34.6%.
Bargnani was efficient from the field connecting on 8-of-15 shots and 6-of-6 from the free throw line, however his strong play throughout was not enough as Serbia got balanced production from their group led by Milos Teodosic‘s 15 points and 8 assists.
The Italian National Team also featured Denver Nuggets’ forward Danilo Gallinari who finished the night scoring 15 points, but took only nine total shots.
Thursday Italy gets set to face Germany, which took down Israel 91-64 Wednesday behind Dirk Nowitzki‘s 25 points, while Serbia moves on to play Latvia which lost to France behind 31 big points from San Antonio Spurs’ point guard Tony Parker.
EuroBasket 2011 Schedules and Scores
If you like this feel free to subscribe to my newsletter by selecting the “Get my newsletter” link at the bottom of the page for weekly NBA news. Don’t worry it’s free and you won’t be hit with any unnecessary advertising or spam.
You can also follow me on Twitter at @JarrodsNBA.
© 2011 Jarrod Gillis — All Rights Reserved