Slovenia’s Luka Doncic is on what would be a historic scoring pace at the Basketball World Cup.
The Dallas Mavericks star is averaging a tournament-best 35.5 points per game so far in this event. It’s only two games, but that does put him just ahead of Brazilian great Oscar Schmidt’s record average of 34.6 at the world championship in 1990.
And he’s doing all that in just over 31 minutes per game, leading Slovenia to a 2-0 start.
There are eight more games Tuesday, and then opening-round group play ends Wednesday with eight more games. Among them: The U.S. group-stage finale against Jordan.
The Tuesday slate:
Group A (at Manila): Angola (1-1) vs. Dominican Republic (2-0), Philippines (0-2) vs. Italy (1-1)
Group D (at Manila): Egypt (0-2) vs. Mexico (0-2), Montenegro (2-0) vs. Lithuania (2-0)
Group E (at Okinawa): Germany (2-0) vs. Finland (0-2), Australia (1-1) vs. Japan (1-1)
Group H (at Jakarta): Lebanon (0-2) vs. France (0-2), Canada (2-0) vs. Latvia (2-0)
The Wednesday slate:
Group B (at Manila): South Sudan (1-1) vs. Serbia (2-0), China (0-2) vs. Puerto Rico (1-1)
Group C (at Manila): U.S. (2-0) vs. Jordan (0-2), Greece (1-1) vs. New Zealand (1-1)
Group F (at Okinawa): Georgia (1-1) vs. Venezuela (0-2), Slovenia (2-0) vs. Cape Verde (1-1)
Group G (at Jakarta): Ivory Coast (1-1) vs. Brazil (1-1), Iran (0-2) vs. Spain (2-0)
HOW TO WATCH THE BASKETBALL WORLD CUP
— In the U.S.: The next U.S. game (Wednesday) will be on ESPN2. It begins at 4:40 a.m. EDT. No television plan for U.S. games after Wednesday has been announced.
The U.S. is the overwhelming favorite to win the World Cup, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, with the Americans’ odds listed at minus-110 (meaning a $110 wager on the Americans would return $210, if they won). Canada remains a very strong second choice in the betting at plus-310, followed by Spain (plus-1,000), Slovenia (plus-1,400), Australia and Serbia (both plus-1,500), and Germany (plus-1,700).
Every other team still in the running for medals entered Tuesday with odds of 65-1 or greater.
France had the fifth-best odds in recent days; the Olympic silver medalist was eliminated from contention on Sunday.
WHAT TO KNOW
What you need to know about the Basketball World Cup, and the U.S. road to getting here:
— U.S. beats Greece in Game 2, 109-81
— Monday was a historic day for African basketball
— U.S. tops New Zealand in opening game, 99-72
— The World Cup attendance record fell on Day 1 in Manila
— For Erik Spoelstra, this trip to Manila is very much like a homecoming
— The basketball-crazed Philippines is about to have a shining moment
— As World Cup nears, U.S. team says it’ll embrace any doubters
— U.S. finishes exhibition season 5-0 after rallying to beat Germany
Group play ends Wednesday. On Thursday and Saturday, the 16 teams that didn’t qualify for the second round will play “classification” games to determine 17th through 32nd place in the tournament.
Second round play starts Friday.
STAT OF THE DAY
Through two games, no U.S. player is averaging more than 22 minutes per game. That means, on average, even the starters are spending about half the time on the bench.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“My opinion is they’re going to go all the way.” — Greece coach Dimitrios Itoudis on the U.S. chances in this World Cup.