Credit: ZUMAPRESS-SCANPIX
Credit ZUMAPRESS-SCANPIX

The star-filled Croatian national team falls to the Czech Republic in a friendly preparation game in Pardubice with the final score of 83-95 (27-21, 16-18, 16-29, 24-27).

The crucial part of the game was at the end of the third quarter, when Czech Republic made an 11-2 run to close the last 2:20 of the quarter and gain a 9-point lead before the final ten minutes.

In the final quarter, Croatia couldn't get any closer. After Tomas Kyzlink's layup, the Czech Republic gained a 17-point lead (66-83) with just over 5 minutes left in the game.

The Czech Republic made an 8-1 run, thanks David Jelinek's two 3-pointers, to close the first half and get within the 4-point deficit (43-39).

Croatia kept increasing the lead that they built in the first quarter, and after Ivica Zubac's jump shot the Croats gained an 11-point advantage (39:28) with 2:47 left in the first half.

Jaleen Smith closed the high-scoring first quarter with a 3-pointer to give Croatia a 6-point lead (27-21).

Croatia was led by Jaleen Smith, who ended up with 21 points (1/2 2PT, 4/6 3PT, 7/8 FT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers.

For the Czech Republic, Martin Peterka added 18 points (0/1 2PT, 6/8 3PT), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal.

Croatia: Jaleen Smith 21, Mario Hezonja 15 (7 REB, 5 AST), Karlo Matkovic 14, Bojan Bogdanovic 11 (6 AST);

The Czech Republic: Martin Peterka 18, Jaromir Bohacik 15, Patrik Auda 11, David Jelinek 11, Tomas Satoransky 10 (8 AST, 6 REB), Vojtech Hruban 10.

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