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Sweden shock Turkey in front of record-breaking crowd in Stockholm
STOCKHOLM (Sweden) - Turkey are down to 0-2 in the FIBA EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers after defeats at the hands of the Netherlands and Sweden, with the Swedes picking up their first win in a two-hour thriller that finished 87-80 in front of 11,390 fans.
This set a new attendance record for national team games in Sweden, and the colorful stands provided some much-needed inspiration for Hugo Lopez's players after their lopsided defeat in Croatia three days ago.
Turning Point: It is hard to pinpoint one exact moment where it all fell apart for Turkey, but at 76-72 with two minutes to go, Berkan Durmaz committed an unsportsmanlike foul that allowed the hosts to open up an 80-72 gap with a minute to play in the game. Sweden protected their win, but Turkey did the damage control by coming back to -7 in the end, which could prove important down the road.
Game Hero: Ludvig Hakanson had a slow game in Zagreb on Gameday 1, but showed what all the noise is about in front of his fans on Monday. The point guard finished with 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc, and dished out 8 assists to lead both departments for Sweden.
Stats Don't Lie: It came down to converting the shots from three-point range. Sweden went 15-of-30, while Turkey hit 11-of-29 on the road, not enough to find their way to a win.
Bottom Line: Nobody imagined Turkey being down at 0-2 after the February window, with a mountain to climb the rest of the waw. But they still have it all in their hands if they want to avoid the last spot in the group. Sweden's basketball is continuing to grow, with nearly 11,500 people coming out to help the squad in yellow on a Monday evening. They will need the same kind of energy in November to pull off another upset or two.