PHOENIX SUNS

UA product Lauri Markkanen drops 43; bests Suns’ Dario Saric, Croatia

Sep 11, 2022, 9:35 AM | Updated: 9:44 am
Finland's Lauri Markkanen gestures during the Eurobasket group D basketball match between Finland a...

Finland's Lauri Markkanen gestures during the Eurobasket group D basketball match between Finland and Netherlands in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Former Arizona Wildcats star and current Utah Jazz big man Lauri Markkanen scored 43 points Sunday, and Finland is now assured of its best EuroBasket result in 55 years.

Shawn Huff’s 3-pointer with 4:25 left put Finland ahead to stay, Markkanen’s layup capped a 10-0 game-deciding run and Finland topped Croatia, 94-86, for its first EuroBasket quarterfinals berth since 1967.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points for Croatia, which got 17 from Jaleen Smith, 12 from Dario Saric and 11 apiece from Krunoslav Simon and Karlo Matkovic.

Saric went 4-of-9 from the field, adding nine rebounds and six assists.

Finland will play Spain on Tuesday, seeking its first semifinals berth at the European championships in 17 appearances.

Markkanen made 19 of 29 shots from the field, scoring 26 of his points in the second half. He also had nine rebounds for Finland, which got 17 points from Sasu Salin and 16 from Edon Maxhuni.

The 43 points ties Markkanen for the eighth-highest scoring performance in EuroBasket history and the best by a Finnish player.

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