SAITAMA: NBA star Luka Doncic scored a sensational 48 points as Slovenia routed Argentina 118-100 in their first game of the Tokyo Olympics men’s basketball tournament on Monday.

On his Olympic debut, the 22-year-old Dallas Mavericks guard had 31 points in the first half and at one stage was on track to break the Olympic scoring record of 55 points set by Brazil’s Oscar Schmidt in 1988.

His final total still tied the second-highest total in men’s basketball history at the Games.

In the second men’s game on Monday, Ricky Rubio scored 20 points as world champions Spain spoiled Japan’s return to the Olympics for the first time in 45 years by defeating the hosts 88-77.

The experienced Minnesota Timberwolves guard hit 62 percent from the field as the bronze medallists from 2016 proved too strong for Japan and their NBA players Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe.

Japan are the next country to face Doncic and Slovenia in Group ‘C’ on Thursday when Spain play Argentina.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2021

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