Monday, 7 March 2022

Bojan Bogdanović Makes Jazz Franchise History with Record 11 Threes Scored in Single Game!

March 7, 2022 - Bojan Bogdanović recorded 11 threes in Utah's win against Oklahoma, entering Jazz franchise history! 

Bojan Bogdanovć recorded the best shooting game of his career, scoring 11 three-pointers for a spot in the Jazz franchise and NBA history!

In the 116:103 Utah Jazz victory in Oklahoma City, the Croatian ace scored 35 points, of which 33 were three-pointers, reports Index.hr.

He shot for two points and missed only once in the entire game. He hit two free throws but scored everything else from a distance - 11 threes from 18 attempts. He became the first player in NBA history to score 11 (or more) threes without a single basket for two. 

Screenshot_2022-03-07_at_09.10.11.png

Bogdanović set his personal record and the Utah Jazz record, already in the ninth three-pointer of the game. By the end, he became only the 14th player in history with at least 11 three-pointers scored in a game. The record-holder is Klay Thompson with 14, Zach LaVine and Stephen Curry with 13 each, and Curry, Kobe Bryant, and Donyell Marshall with 12 three-pointers.

This is the 27th time in NBA history that someone has scored 11 three-pointers in a game. Curry has done it 12 times, while Thompson and Damian Lillard are the only players to have done it twice. No one but Bojan has done it in 2022.

 

After the last three-pointer, which broke the game with 43 seconds to go and increased Jazz's advantage from five points to eight, he kept his hand outstretched in the shooting position and waved to the home crowd, returning to the defense. It has become his practice every time he scores a decisive three-pointer. 

Despite this offensive explosion, Bogdanović did not improve his season point record. He played the same team last season with 48 points, which is his career record.

Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and ten assists, Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points, and Rudy Gobert scored 12 points and 17 rebounds to stand out in the Jazz victory. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the best for the host with 33 points.

The second Croatian basketball player in the NBA league did not have a successful evening. Ivica Zubac remained on four points (2/5 field goals), nine rebounds, and three turnovers in an unexpected and challenging home defeat to the New York Knicks 116:93.

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Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Toni Kukoč Reveals Biggest Problems in Croatian Basketball Today

January 4, 2022 - Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and Chicago Bulls legend Toni Kukoč gives his take on the biggest problems in Croatian basketball today. 

Before filming the show 'U svom filmu', which will be shown on Croatian television on Tuesday, January 11, legendary Croatian basketball player Toni Kukoč interviewed with HTV's Dnevnik.

The three-time NBA champion spoke about the current status of the Croatia national basketball team.

"It's not an easy question. I've been saying a lot lately that our biggest problem is our best players can't play for the national team. They are maximally exhausted from numerous obligations in the NBA league even when they come. We need to find some formula for the best players to play for their national teams to qualify for the World and European Championships and the Olympic Games. Until that happens, we will have problems. We have quality players, but our five, six best players play in the NBA league. That is our biggest problem. If we played in a full squad and had some continuity, I don't see that we would have any problems qualifying for the big competitions."

What can be done to change that?

"In my opinion, this is the biggest problem. We have good players who play significant roles in their teams in the NBA year after year, but we can’t put them together and find some continuity of work here. It is known that national teams that have success in championships and the Olympic Games have a certain amount of real preparation. It used to be three or four months, now it's hard to expect, but you have to find a month before the championship to do something significant. People can’t get together three days before a tournament and have some results made. This may have been possible before, when you had three, four, or five players who played for the same team, so they knew each other well and knew how and what to do together, and now there are players who play completely different schemes in different teams, and to expect them to be brought to the national team and to click in three days is hard to expect. It is difficult and ungrateful to expect that basketball players can do something like that."

How do you see the performances of Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac in the NBA?

"They play great; they have continuity, Utah is third in the West, Zubac also plays great for the Clippers. Bojan is one of the most experienced NBA players, we know what he can give, and he gives it from game to game."

What does he think of the NBA league then and now?

"It's different; there's a lot more shooting now than in our time. However, when you talk to the generations from 50 years ago, they think that they played the best basketball, every generation thinks that they played the best basketball." 

You can see the interview HERE.

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Thursday, 9 December 2021

Bojan Bogdanović Contributes to Utah Jazz NBA 3-Pointer Record, Zubac Secures Clippers Win

December 9, 2021 - Utah Jazz is the first team in NBA history to score 20 or more three-pointers in three consecutive games, and score 72 three-pointers in a three-game span, setting a new NBA 3-pointer record. 

Utah Jazz and LA Clippers registered new victories in the NBA, and Croatian basketball players Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac registered notable appearances for their teams. And new NBA records were broken, reports T.portal

Utah defeated Minnesota 136:104 away, with only a point advantage at halftime (60:59). But Minnesota was wholly outplayed by Utah as the game went on. In the third quarter, Utah was up by 13 points, and in the last quarter, up by 18, and scored 76 points in the second half.

Bojan Bogdanović was the second top scorer for Utah. Donovan Mitchell was the best (36 points, 14/23 field goals), while the Croatian basketball player scored 21 points in 28 minutes. He also had five rebounds and 8/14 field goals, and 4/9 three-pointers. He also hit one free throw.

Bogdanović praised Mitchell, who scored 30 or more points in four consecutive games.

"He's full of confidence. We all know how good he is and who he is. The game is at a very high level for the whole season," said Bogdanović.

Utah hit 25/54 for three-pointers, which placed them in the NBA history books.

"This was a good win for us. We played away, and we’re all trying to see where we are right now with a desire to keep growing. And tomorrow, we will have another big game," said Mitchell after the game.

 

This Utah Jazz team is thus the first in NBA history to score 20 or more three-pointers in three consecutive games, and the best Croatian basketball player, Bojan Bogdanović, significantly contributed to this record, currently averaging 16.8 points from three-pointers or 40.8% (throwing in 2.5 three-pointers on the average per game).

But that isn't the only record they set. 

Utah's 72 three-pointers are the most in a three-game span, breaking the old record of 67 set by Milwaukee and Houston (twice). 

The Clippers defeated Boston 114:111 in a tense game at home. A second and a half before the end, Croatian center Ivica Zubac hit both free throws to confirm the Clippers victory.

The Clippers were up 12 points at halftime, but Boston eventually caught up. Brandon Boston jr. scored 27 points for the Clippers, while Reggie Jackson added 17 with seven assists.

Zubac played 32 minutes and achieved a double-double of 10 points and ten rebounds. He also had four blocks and 3/4 field goals, with 4/4 from the free-throw line. He also had one assist, four turnovers and one steal. 

Jayson Tatum was the Celtics' first name with 29 points and ten rebounds.

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Sunday, 14 November 2021

Bojan Bogdanović Second Croat to Cross NBA 8,000-Point Mark!

November 14, 2021 - While his Utah Jazz couldn't pull out a win against the Miami Heat on Saturday night, Bojan Bogdanović had something to celebrate. He became only the second Croat to reach the NBA 8,000-point mark! 

Bojan Bogdanović played his best game of the season, scoring 26 points (field goals 8-19, three-pointers 6-13) with 6 rebounds and 3 assists, but the Utah Jazz failed to beat Miami (105:111). The Utah Jazz is currently in crisis, as they have only one win in their last five games. This was also their second home defeat in a row. Miami played without Butler but still celebrated on the wings of young defenders Herro (27 points) and Robinson (22), with Kyle Lowry scoring 21 points.

Bogdanović was the top scorer for the Jazz, ahead of Jordan Clarkson (25) and Donovan Mitchell (22). 

This is the fourth defeat in five games for Utah. On the other hand, Heat achieved the first victory from the fourth attempt on the current tour of the West. Both teams are now at 8-5.

But there is some good news to the story. Not only was this Bojan's best game this season, but the Croatian basketballer became only the second Croatian to cross the 8,000-point mark in the NBA.! 

In this game, Bogdanović needed 10 points to break the 8,000 mark in his career, and he crossed it in the last quarter, nailing 19 of his 26 points then. Of Croatian basketball players, only Toni Kukoč scored more (9810), and at this pace, Babo should overtake him next season.

Furthermore, the Los Angeles Clippers and Ivica Zubac continued with great games. On Saturday night, they defeated Minnesota 129:102, and the Croatian center completely outplayed Towns, who remained at only 8 points. Zubac scored 10 points but also 12 rebounds in 22 minutes on the court. Thus, the Clippers are currently experiencing an exciting winning streak.

Paul George with 23 points and Reggie Jackson with 21 led the Clippers to their eighth win in 12 games, and Anthony Edwards with 21 points was the Wolves' top scorer.

Source: Index.hr

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Saturday, 6 November 2021

Croats in NBA: Ivica Zubac Double-Double Confirms Game of Season for LA Clippers

November 6, 2021 - An Ivica Zubac double-double gives the Croatian basketball star his best game of the season for the LA Clippers so far. 

The LA Clippers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-84 last on Friday night, and Croatian basketball player Ivica Zubac contributed to his team's victory with a double-double, reports

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Zubac scored 14 points (field goals 5/7), 14 rebounds, two steals, and one block in 30:54 minutes spent on the court. Paul George scored 21 points with 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, and Reggie Jackson 20 points.

For Minnesota, which recorded their fourth defeat in a row, the best was Karl-Anthony Towns with 20 points and eight rebounds, and Malik Beasley added 18 points.

After falling behind in the first half, the Clippers stopped Minnesota at just 27 points with a great second half.

“I think it could be our identity this year, the defensive team. We know that without Kawhi Leonard it will be harder to win, but we can play good defense and run more, create more open shots to have a better chance of winning," Zubac said after the game.

 

"Before the game, I told him to go for jumps more energetically, to grab the ball tighter, and after the game, I told him that now there is no going back to the old way," said Paul George about the Croatia national team player.

The New York Knicks also outscored the Milwaukee Bucks 113-98 away, although they were 21 points behind in the second quarter. Julius Randle was the top scorer with 32 points with 12 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.

Derrick Rose added 23 points for New York, beating the Bucks 94-60 in the final three quarters, with eight rebounds and four assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 25 steals and seven rebounds.

The Brooklyn Nets reached their fourth straight win by beating the Detroit Pistons 96-90, and Kevin Durant scored 29 points with 10 rebounds and five assists for the win.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and five rebounds for the Nets, and James Harden added 13 points, 10 rebounds, and as many assists.

The Golden State Warriors were better than the New Orleans Pelicans at home (126-85), bringing them to seven wins in their last eight games.

Jordan Poole was the most efficient player on the winning team with 26 points, while Stephen Curry contributed to the victory with 19 points.

The Cleveland Cavaliers outscored the Toronto Raptors 102-101 away, ending the Canadian team's five-game winning streak, with Darius Garland securing two free throws 4.8 seconds before the end.

The Washington Wizards were better than the Memphis Grizzlies, playing 115-87 at home, with seven home team players recording a double-double performance.

The San Antonio Spurs beat the Orlando Magic 102-89, the Portland Trail Blazers won 110-106 against the Indiana Pacers, while the Sacramento Kings outscored the Charlotte Hornets 140-110.

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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Zubac and Bogdanović Named in Sports Illustrated Top 100 NBA Players of 2022

September 21, 2021 - Ivica Zubac and Bojan Bogdanović have been named in the Sports Illustrated Top 100 NBA players of 2022. 

The American magazine ranks the top 100 NBA basketball players every year before the new season. The popular sports magazine started this year's countdown and published the list from 51st to 100th place, where the names of two Croatian basketballers were found. 

For the first time in his career, Ivica Zubac entered Sports Illustrated's Top 100, in 99th place.

"Outside of a three-point shot, Zubac checks every box necessary for a modern big. On offense, he's an expert offensive rebounder and a sturdy screener with soft hands as a roll man. On defense, he's smart as a rotating big and he won’t get bullied by the game’s biggest behemoths. Zubac is perhaps the least flashy player on our Top 100 list, but don’t let that detract from his value in Los Angeles," writes Michael Shapiro of the LA Clippers player. 

 

A year ago, after the best season of his career, Bojan Bogdanović was close to the top 50, in 56th place, but now he is ranked as 74th this season. 

In May of 2020, season-ending surgery on Bogdanovic’s right wrist knocked the veteran forward out for Utah’s bubble run, proving a major loss for the Jazz. Last season, Bogdanovic returned and further proved his worth, serving as both a reliable shooter and more-than-capable on-ball creator. Toward the end of the regular season when Donovan Mitchell went down with an ankle injury, Bogdanovic thrived, averaging 22.8 points over the regular season’s final 16 games," writes BP. 

 

The remaining two Croats in the NBA were not on the list. Dario Šarić will miss most, if not the entire Phoenix Suns season due to an operation, and Luka Šamanić has yet to confirm his place in the rotation of the San Antonio Spurs.

Among the players from the Sports Illustrated region, Serbian defender Bogdan Bogdanović was ranked 64th and Jusuf Nurkić, the center from BiH who plays for Portland 65th.

Luka Dončić and MVP Nikola Jokić will certainly be among the top 10, and whether SI placed them in the Top 5 and in which exact positions they see them, we will find out in a few days, reports Index.hr.

You can see the list so far HERE.

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Thursday, 1 July 2021

Šibenik's Dario Šarić Becomes 5th Croatian Basketballer in the NBA Finals!

July 1, 2021 - Šibenik's Dario Šarić is the 5th Croatian basketball player to reach the NBA finals! 

Dario Šarić became only the fifth Croatian basketball player in the NBA league finals. Dražen Petrović, Toni Kukoč, Žan Tabak and Ante Žižić succeeded before him, reports Šibenik.in.

Šarić reached the finals with the Phoenix Suns, who topped the Los Angeles Clippers 4-2 in the NBA Western Conference Finals.

 

It will be the third final for the Suns, who have lost the previous two they participated in. They last played in the finals in 1993, when they were led by Charles Barkley, but lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games.

Before that, they lost to the Boston Celtics in 1976, also in six games.

The first Croatian basketball player to reach the NBA Finals was Dražen Petrović in 1990 with the Portland Trail Blazers. However, Petrović did not play next to Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler, and Portland lost to the Detroit Pistons 1-4 in the finals.

After Dražen, Jean Tabak reached the final in the Houston jersey in 1995 and won. However, Tabak didn’t have many minutes, as he was a replacement for Hakeem Olajuwon. Houston beat Orlando 4-0 in the final.

Interestingly, Tabak is the second European basketball player ever to win an NBA ring. Only a season before him, Slovak Richard Petruška won the title, also in the Houston jersey. Tabak also made it to the finals with the Indiana Pacers in 2000 when the LA Lakers defeated them.

Toni Kukoč played an important role with the Chicago Bulls, winning three consecutive championship titles (1996-1998). In the first final, the Bulls defeated Seattle and the Utah Jazz in the next two seasons. 

Ante Žižić also played in the NBA league finals with Cleveland in 2018, but the Golden State Warriors won 4-0.

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Saturday, 8 May 2021

Best Game Ever for Bojan Bogdanović with 48 Points in Utah's Victory!

May 8, 2021 - It was the best game ever for Bojan Bogdanović, who scored 48 points against Denver on Friday night!

Jutarnji List reports that Bojan Bogdanović played the best game of his career last night. In Utah's victory against Denver (127:120), the Croatian basketball player scored 48 points (career record), and with a phenomenal 70% shooting percentage, he scored 16 out of 23 attempts. Bojan also hit 8 of 11 three-pointers and all eight free throws.

In addition, he had 8 rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Bogdanović's performance carries additional weight because, thanks to him, Utah has remained the leading team in the West and is now in a great spot for the playoffs.

Bojan overshadowed Nikola Jokić, convincingly the first candidate for MVP of the player of the season. The Serbian center also had a great evening, scoring 24 points, to which he added 13 assists and 9 rebounds. But all that was not enough to surpass Bogdanović.

Bojan has been playing the best basketball of his career in recent weeks. He has scored at least 22 points in his last five games, with a shooting percentage above 54 percent. The average in those five games is a fantastic 30.6 points, and he hit 54 of 86 attempts, which is a phenomenal 63 percent.

Utah has been playing without its best player Donovan Mitchell for some time, and Bojan's role in the team has changed with his position. The more he is with the ball, the more he gets under the basket, which obviously suits him better than the role of a classic shooter.

In the victory against Denver, Bogdanović had the best teammates in Clarkson (21 points), Gobert (14), and Niang (13).

Phoenix was also successful, beating New York 128:105. The Suns were led by Ayton with 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Dario Saric had another miserable evening. He only played five minutes in which he only managed to shoot once. 

The Lakers stumbled once again, this time in Portland (106:101), with whom they now share sixth place in the West. Seventh leads to the play-in, and the Lakers look awful.

Results:Philadelphia - New Orleans 109: 107, Chicago - Boston 121: 99, Charlotte - Orlando 122: 112, Miami - Minnesota 121: 112, Milwaukee - Houston 141: 133, Dallas - Cleveland 110: 90, Portland - LA Lakers 106: 101, Sacramento - San Antonio 104: 113, Utah - Denver 127: 120, Phoenix - New York 128: 105.

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Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Bojan Bogdanović Becomes First Croatian NBA Player to Hit 1000 Career 3-Pointers!

April 13, 2021 - Not only did he score 33 points for Utah on Monday, but Bojan Bogdanović became the first Croatian NBA player to hit 1000 career 3-pointers!

Although Croatia national team player Bojan Bogdanović achieved his best performance this season with 33 points, his Utah Jazz, which boasts the best ratio of victories and defeats in the NBA league, surprisingly lost at home to the Washington Wizards (121-125), thus breaking a series of 24 consecutive home wins. 

The Jazz was 13 points behind in the middle of the last quarter, only to get closer to -2 (119-121) at the last minute, but they failed to complete the comeback.

The most efficient at home was Donovan Mitchell with 42 points, while the Wizards were led by Bradley Beal with 34 points and Russell Westbrook with 25 goals and 14 rebounds and assists.

With this defeat, Utah's ratio dropped to 40-14, while Washington is in 12th place in the East (20-33).

Bogdanović spent 35:36 minutes on the court with 4-9 field goals, 6-9 three-pointers, and 7-8 from the free-throw line with five rebounds and one assist. However, by scoring six three-pointers, he exceeded 1000 in his NBA career and has recorded 1002 in total!

Bogdanović became the first Croat and only the 127th player with that jubilee in NBA history since the introduction of threes 42 years ago. Babo has been a Croatian record holder for a long time since he skipped Toni Kukoč, who ended his NBA career with 731 three-pointers.

Bogdanović reached this jubilee in the 516th NBA game. By comparison, Sacramento defender Buddy Hield recently scored his 1000th three-pointer in his 350th appearance, breaking Stephen Curry's record of 369 appearances.

Bojan currently needs 80 points to enter the top 100 three-pointers of all time. Tracy McGrady is currently in the 100th position. There are ten more active players between McGrady and Bogdanović, meaning he will probably need to exceed 1100 three-pointers to break into the Top 100.

At the pace of 2.4 three-pointers per game, which is how many he is averaging this season, he would need about forty more appearances to reach that venture before the end of the year, depending on the start date of next season.

At the very top is still Ray Allen with 2973 threes, but he is dangerously close to Stephen Curry, who scored ten in last night's historic game and is now at 2719 in his career.

The Utah defeat was used by the Phoenix Suns, who, with a sure 126-120 victory against the weak Houston Rockets this season, are only one and a half games behind. Croatia national team player Dario Šarić added nine points to his team's new victory (1-5 field goals, 2-3 three-pointers,1-2 free throws) with five rebounds and one steal 17:51 minutes spent on the court. 

The best in Phoenix's ranks was Jae Crowder with 26 and Devin Booker with 24 points, while Christian Wood was the best for Houston with 25 points and 15 rebounds.

Luka Šamanić also got a chance in the San Antonio Spurs away victory to Orlando Magic (120-97), scoring seven points in 7:45 minutes spent in the game (2-3 field goals, 1-1 three-pointers, 0- 1free throws). DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 19 points, while R.J. Hampton with 16 points was the most efficient for the Magic.

With this victory, San Antonio reached a 50/50 performance with a 26-26 ratio and is ninth in the West, while Orlando, with 17-37, is the penultimate 14th in the East.

The New York Knicks as hosts defeated the Los Angeles Lakers (111-96), who are still without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Former Lakers player Julius Randle scored 34 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, while Dennis Schroeder was the most efficient for the Lakers with 21 points. 

The Knicks are now eighth in the East with a 28-27 ratio, while the Lakers are fifth in the West with a 33-21 ratio.

The Philadelphia 76ers returned to the top of the East with an away win against the Dallas Mavericks (113-95). Joel Embiid was excellent for the Sixers with 36 points, while Luka Dončić's 32 points were not enough for the Mavs.

Philadelphia is now 37-17, one win less and one game less than the Brooklyn Nets in second, who have postponed their Minnesota match against the Timberwolves due to the riots in Minneapolis, while Dallas is seventh in the West with 29-24.

Stephen Curry had a great evening, scoring 53 points in the 116-107 Golden State Warriors victory against the Denver Nuggets and became the best Warriors scorer in history, overtaking Wilt Chamberlain. Nikola Jokić's 27 points did not help the Nuggets. 

Golden State is now 26-28 and holds 10th place in the West, while Denver is 4th in the West with 34-20.

Source: HRT

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Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Croats in NBA: Bogdanović Hits 7 Threes for Third Time this Season!

March 2, 2021 - The brilliant Bojan Bogdanović hits 7 threes for the third time this season. The Croatian basketball player has never had more than two games with 7 or more made threes until this year.

Index.hr reports that Utah Jazz lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 124:129 in last night's game despite one of the best performances of this season by Croatia star Bojan Bogdanović, who finished the match with 31 points.

Utah was one step away from creating a big turnaround, coming back from a 17-point deficit to only -1, but ultimately recorded their eighth defeat of the season. Utah is still the leading team in the NBA, with a ratio of 27 wins and eight losses.

In the last ten games, Bogdanović recorded a 32 percent accuracy for three-pointers, but he opened this game with five three-pointers, and by the end, he had scored a total of seven.

For the third time this season, he scored seven three-pointers, a record achievement for the Croatian. Never before in the same season had he had more than two games with so many three-pointers. Bogdanović had 11 three-pointer attempts, as many as the entire Pelicans team who recorded as many made threes as he did.

In the third game of this season in which he scored 30 or more points, Bogdanović was 11/21 for field goals. His season record is still 32 points, which he achieved against the Dallas Mavericks in late January.

Zion Williamson was the best for the Pelicans with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, Brandon Ingram had 26 points and five assists, and Lonzo Ball had 23 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.

Young Croatian basketballer Luka Šamanić played his best game of the season. In the San Antonio Spurs' loss to the Brooklyn Nets, James Harden reached a triple-double with 30 points, 14 rebounds, and 15 assists. Šamanić played nearly 17 minutes. He used them for eight points and five rebounds. The victory went to the Nets with a score of 124:113.

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