Luka Doncic and Slovenia struggle as Germany dominates World Cup qualifier

Luka Doncic, Slovenian National Team, Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic, Slovenian National Team, Dallas Mavericks / Jurij Kodrun/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks watched as the Slovenian National Team was upset by Germany 90-71 in World Cup qualifying on Aug. 28. It was just the third time Slovenia lost with Luka Doncic in the lineup, and the first time they dropped a game with both Doncic and Goran Dragic in uniform.

Slovenia just could not find their offense on Sunday. They came out with 20 points in the opening period and held a three-point advantage after ten minutes, but things fell apart from there. Germany was outhustling Luka Doncic and company, and they dominated the rebound battle on their way to an upset.

It was Slovenia’s third loss in World Cup qualifying and puts their chances of advancing to next summer’s tournament in jeopardy as the remaining four qualifiers happen during the NBA season. Slovenia will have to win without Luka if they want to advance to the World Cup. Here is a look at how Doncic performed in Sunday’s loss to Germany, and a sneak peek at what is next.

Luka Doncic and Slovenia struggle as Germany dominates World Cup qualifier

Doncic had it going early on, but his team did not. He made four of his first five field goal attempts, including this beautiful step-back 3-pointer.

Luka had 11 first-quarter points, and he showcased his playmaking in the second quarter, but Slovenia trailed by two at the half because of poor shooting and rebounding. They shot just 36.3 percent in the first 20 minutes, and Germany had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half.

Things went from bad to worse in the third quarter as Slovenia scored just 15 points, and Germany pushed their lead to 15 after 30 minutes. Doncic had 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists, but his country was playing with little energy, and they could not find their jumpers.

Slovenia did all they could to come back in the final period, but Dennis Schroder kept Germany out to a comfortable advantage. The veteran point guard drained the clock and picked up his scoring as his 17 points and ten dimes led the way for Germany in the upset.

Luka Doncic finished with 23 points, six rebounds, five assists, and four turnovers against Germany. He was seven of 16 from the field and just six of 11 from the free throw line. It was a rough night for him and his country as they shot just over 41 percent from the field, and Slovenia was seven of 23 from 3-point range.

Mavericks fans can bet that Dirk Nowitzki will be poking fun at Luka Doncic for losing to his home country. Germany was the better team on Sunday, but fans will not have to wait long to see the rematch between these two countries.

This was a throw away game for the Slovenian National Team. Their poor shooting coupled with losing the rebounding battle 56 to 27 did them in. Doncic and company need to clean up their play, and they will in EuroBasket. Expect this loss to motivate them as they attempt to defend their title.

Luka Doncic and Slovenian National Team are now heading to EuroBasket. The 23-year-old will look to help his country bounce back as they open against a tough Lithuania squad featuring Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas on Sept 1. Slovenia is in a difficult group that features Germany and France. Luka plans on defending his crown, so stay tuned to see what he can do next.

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