ISTANBUL // Uros Slokar and Jaka Lakovic scored 15 points each as Slovenia beat Croatia 91-84 yesterday in the group stage of the World Championships. Slovenia (2-1) took the lead for good on Miha Zupan's three-pointer with 6:33 remaining. Samo Udrih followed with a lay-up and Lakovic made a three-pointer, making it 77-71 with 5:04 remaining.
The Slovenians never let Croatia (1-2) get closer than four from there, delighting their green-clad fans who chanted and danced throughout much of the second half. Goran Dragic, the Phoenix guard, had 14 points and Bostjan Nachbar 11 for Slovenia, who were bouncing back from their loss to the United States on Sunday. Roko Ukic scored 20 points, and Marko Popovic and Marko Tomas added 17 apiece for Croatia, who shot 55 per cent from three-point range but only 15 of 26 from the foul line.
Earlier, in Kayseri, Dusko Savanovic and Marko Keselj scored 21 points each to help Serbia rebound from a double-overtime loss to beat Jordan 112-69 in group play. After losing to Germany 82-81 less than 24 hours earlier, Serbia (2-1) used their height to dominate Jordan inside. Centre Nenad Krstic sat out the last of his three-game suspension for a pre-tournament brawl in Greece, but Kosta Perovic, the back-up centre, added 20 points for Serbia.
Guard Milos Teodosic returned to score seven points with seven assists. Osama Daghles had 19 points for Jordan (0-3), who struggled defensively against their more athletic opponents. Serbia shot 71.7 per cent from the field and 52.6 per cent from the three-point line. * PA