Nicolas Batum was cooking, France was raining three-pointers, and Serbia was losing their game-long stranglehold on the chance to play Team USA for World Cup gold. Where would Serbia go for a basket when it needed one most? A pick-and-roll between Phoenix Suns first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic and former Milwaukee Bucks big man Miroslav Raduljica seemed coach Aleksandar Dordevic’s best option, and that thought proved correct – Raduljica scored off an assist from Bogdanovic to put their team up 65-57 and helped stem the French tide with just under six minutes remaining. Just like they drew it up, right? Well, not exactly.
There were several buckets from both teams in the final minutes perhaps bigger than Raduljica’s wild layup, but none more unlikely. Check out this crazy stroke of luck:
Serbia needed all the help it could get from the Basketball Gods in the 90-85 win, too. Led by Batum’s 17 points in a heroic fourth quarter, France stormed back from a 15-point deficit to make the FIBA semifinal a one-possession game with under a minute remaining. As both teams played the European foul game, Serbia’s slight edge was ultimately too much for France to overcome.
Serbia advances to the gold medal game against Team USA on Sunday. And barring a surprise of epic proportions, it will need more strokes of hoops good fortune to dethrone the Americans.
(Video via Highlights Factory)
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