The Dallas Mavericks were pulling hard for Luka Doncic on Aug. 7. He led Slovenia to the bronze medal contest at the Olympics. They were just seconds away from advancing to the finals, but France ended their undefeated run. Doncic had just the third triple-double in Olympic history in the semifinals. What would he do in the must-win game?
Australia presented a difficult challenge. The Boomers have been on the verge of medaling in recent years but have never gotten over the hump. Patty Mills leads their deep and talented squad featuring six current NBA talents. Mavericks wing Josh Green is a bench option for the Aussies in Tokyo.
Luka Doncic put on one final Olympic show, but Australia took home the bronze medal. Mills was incredible for the Boomers to lead them to their first Olympic medal in basketball. The loss was heartbreaking for Luka and Slovenia but should do nothing to take away from their incredible performance in Tokyo.
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic and Slovenia fall short vs. Australia
Luka had his wrist bandaged after crashing into the broadcast table in the semifinals against France. The 22-year-old and Slovenia got off to a slow start, but they found their stride midway through the opening quarter. Doncic was just one of four from the field but had six points, two rebounds, one assist, and one steal, but it was Australia that held the one-point advance after 10 minutes.
Patty Mills got white-hot in the second quarter. He had 18 quick points in the period to push the Boomers lead to double-digits, but Luka and his countrymen punched right back. They cut the lead to three, but a five to zero run in the final minute had Australia up eight at the break. Doncic had nine points, five rebounds, and two assists in the first half.
Mills continued his hot shooting to run his total to 36 points as Australia pushed their lead to 11 after 30 minutes. Luka had 14 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, but was four of 14 from the field after three quarters. He could not find his jumper on Saturday, which had Slovenia playing from behind in the bronze medal contest.
Doncic and his country were far from done. They cut the lead to five, but Australia was just too much on Aug. 7 as they picked up the 107-93 victory to earn the bronze medal. Luka finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the contest. His eight turnovers and poor shooting were too much for Slovenia to overcome.
Luka Doncic and Slovenia made an incredible Olympic run. Yes, they fell just short of winning a medal, but finishing top-four and making the semifinals was unbelievable. Slovenia was in their first Olympics and the country of just over 2 million people is becoming a basketball powerhouse behind Doncic. Expect them to remain in the hunt any time Luka is on the floor.
The 22-year-old superstar was gutted that his team failed to win an Olympic medal, but he should return home proud. The Dallas Mavericks five key decision-makers, including Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki are heading to Slovenia to present Luka with his max contract extension early next week. Expect Doncic to sign the $200 million deal before quickly getting back into the gym to improve his game. Fans have not seen the last of Luka Doncic in the Olympics.