World Basketball Championship: Schedule : Standings : Scoreboard | NBA
Slovenia 90, Puerto Rico 82
SAPPORO, Japan (Ticker) -- Slovenia's Jaka Lakovic delivered 
the early blow and the knockout punch.

Lakovic scored 24 points as Slovenia jumped out to a big early
lead and held on for a 90-82 Group D victory over Puerto Rico in
the World Championships.

Coming off a loss to the United States, Slovenia (2-2) set an
immediate tone as it scored 19 of the game's first 22 points.
Lakovic scored 14 points in the first half, which ended with
Slovenia holding a 52-33 advantage.

Two free throws by Orlando Magic guard Carlos Arroyo cut the
deficit to 80-72 before Lakovic buried the last of his four
3-pointers with 1:20 to play, sealing the win.

"Offensively, we stuck to the plan and executed well in the
first half to build an advantage," Lakovic said.  "It was then a
matter of concentration.  We kept our focus until the end and
that was the most important thing."

Lakovic had three 3-pointers in the opening run.  A 13-0 surge
fueled by Charlotte Bobcats center Primoz Brezec extended the
lead to 40-22 in the second period.

Arroyo scored 21 points and backcourt mate Larry Ayuso added 20
for Puerto Rico (2-2), which next faces Italy (3-1).

"We missed a good chance today," Puerto Rico coach Julio Toro
said.  "The players didn't give the ideal effort against
Slovenia and I am surprised.  We attempted to get back into the
game but we didn't have it in ourselves today.  Now we must look
to our next game which is a very important and hard game for

In its final group game, Slovenia plays China (1-3), with the
winner advancing to the round of 16.

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