2023 FIBA World Cup: SGA leads Canada to semifinals with 100-89 win over Slovenia

After being tied at 50 apiece during halftime, Canada continued to weaponize the third quarter in its 100-89 win against Slovenia in the 2023 FIBA World Cup quarterfinals.

As has been the case for both Canada and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the charge in the third quarter with a dominating 10 minutes. He scored nine of its 30 points to lead to the 30-21 scoring advantage that ultimately decided the game.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s superb play didn’t stop there though, as he scored 17 points in the second half to lead Canada to a 50-39 scoring advantage to seal the win.

Slovenia made it interesting in the fourth quarter — especially after Luka Doncic’s ejection — by cutting its deficit to nine points but Canada managed to pull away with the win.

Canada now moves onto the semifinals for the first time ever as it will face Serbia.

Overall, Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 31 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 10 rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes. He shot 14-of-16 from the free-throw line.

In his last two games, he’s totaled 61 points on 15-of-24 (62.5%) shooting.

Dueling against fellow 2018 draft member superstar Doncic, Gilgeous-Alexander won this round. The highly-anticipated matchup between arguably the two best FIBA players lived up to the hype for the most part before Canada started to pull away in the second half.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Lu Dort’s biggest contribution was agitating Doncic’s fourth-quarter ejection. After the latter thought the former fouled him, he was handed his second technical foul of the game which led to his immediate disqualification. This caused Slovenia to play the final 6:37 without its best player.

In 21 minutes off the bench, Dort had eight points on 2-of-4 shooting and two rebounds. He struggled to get out of foul trouble as he totaled four fouls, which likely explains his limited playing time.

Let’s look at instant reactions and highlights from Canada’s quarterfinals win.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire