Olympic Basketball 2021: Luka Doncic's Dominant Performance Highlights Monday's Play

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 26, 2021

Slovenia's Luka Doncic (77) celebrates scoring by a teammate during men's basketball preliminary round game against Argentina at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Luka Doncic stole the show with 48 points on Monday as Slovenia opened the men's basketball tournament at Tokyo Olympics with a victory over Argentina at Saitama Super Arena.

Spain also had a productive day on the basketball court, as both its men's and women's teams started their runs with wins over Japan and South Korea, respectively. The Serbia women's squad took down Canada.

Let's check out the full list of Monday's scores followed by a recap of the pool-play action.

Men's Results

Slovenia 118, Argentina 100

Spain 88, Japan 77

Women's Results

Spain 73, South Korea 69

Serbia 72, Canada 68

Monday Recap

Doncic, who's coming off a season with the Dallas Mavericks in which he finished sixth in NBA MVP voting, picked up right where he left off. Along with the 48 points, he tallied 11 rebounds, five assists and three blocks to lead Slovenia to its first win ever at the Olympics.

"For me, I said this two years ago: He is the best player in the world, including the NBA," Argentina head coach Sergio Hernandez told reporters. "And if there was any doubt in my mind, there is no doubt anymore. He is the best player in the world."

Hernandez added: "We tried everything that we would have tried against a normal player, but he's not a normal player."

Doncic came just seven points shy of the men's Olympic record of 55, held by Brazil's Oscar Schmidt since the 1988 Games.

Luka Doncic @luka7doncic

First one🙏🇸🇮❤️ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/miSlovenci?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#miSlovenci</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Olympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Olympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/npwKb6YqAv">pic.twitter.com/npwKb6YqAv</a>

Klemen Prepelic chipped in 22 points for Slovenia, while Luis Scola paced the Argentinians with 23.

Ricky Rubio led the Spain men's team with 20 points and nine assists in just 22 minutes. The Spanish side built a 20-point halftime lead and cruised to the finish line.

Three other players—Victor Claver (13), Marc Gasol (12) and Alex Abrines (11)—reached double figures in scoring as part of the balanced attack for La Roja.

The Spain women's team faced a tougher challenge from South Korea, which used a late 7-0 run to make a last-ditch comeback that came up just short.

Astou Ndour was dominant in the post with 28 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in the win. Laura Gil added 16 points and 14 boards as Spain held significant advantages in rebounds (48-30) and points in the paint (48-32).

Lee-seul Kang led South Korea with 26 points.

The clash between Serbia and Canada also came down to the wire. The game was tied at 58 with just over four minutes remaining before back-to-back threes by Yvonne Anderson and Ana Dabovic put the Serbians ahead for good.

Sonja Vasic led Serbia with 16 points. Nirra Fields posted a team-high 19 points for Canada.

Tuesday's basketball schedule in Tokyo will feature four women's games: Japan vs. France, Nigeria vs. the United States, Australia vs. Belgium and Puerto Rico vs. China.