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Nikola Jokić, Serbia Defeat Greece in Fiba World Cup Qualifier Despite Giannis' 40

Doric SamAugust 25, 2022

Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

In a battle between the last two players to be named NBA MVP, Nikola Jokić got the last laugh over Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Jokić led Serbia to a 100-94 overtime victory over Greece in a FIBA World Cup qualifier on Thursday in Belgrade despite Antetokounmpo's 40 points, the most in World Cup European qualifiers history, per ESPN.

Jokić led Serbia with 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the victory. He had some help as Serbia's bench combined for 33 points.

The two-time reigning MVP reportedly had the highlight of the game with a one-legged turnaround jumper at the three-point line despite some tough defense from Antetokounmpo, which put Serbia up by eight with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

Greece overcame the late deficit and forced overtime on a three-pointer from former Oregon star Tyler Dorsey with 11 seconds left. The extra period was all Jokić, as he put in back-to-back buckets in the low post over Antetokounmpo to give Serbia the lead for good.

Antetokounmpo, who was NBA MVP in 2019 and 2020, shot 14-of-25 from the field and added eight rebounds and five assists.

Serbia improved to 2-3 in the qualifying tournament and is now tied with Turkey for fourth place in its group that also includes Greece, Latvia, Belgium and Great Britain. The top three teams in the group qualify for next year's World Cup. Latvia is currently on top with nine points, followed by Greece and Belgium with eight.

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