Russia trailed the elimination game against Croatia almost the entire game until they finally got the lead with 1.12 left on the game clock. Sergei Monia stole the ball and got a breakaway dunk to make the score 77-76 in favour of Russia. The Russian team then went on to hit their foul shots at the end of the game to secure the victory.
|Andrei Kirilenko had another great game with 29 points and 8 rebounds|
"Giricek's injury is pretty serious", Croatian coach Neven Spahija said after the game. Giricek did walk to the locker room under his own power at half time after having his foot iced at the end of the first half. Giricek was standing next to the bench at the end, trying to put some pressure on his foot and appeared to be ready to come into the game in the final minutes but he never did and Croatia ended up losing their lead and the game.
With Giricek out Croatia's second leading scorer Damir Mulaomerovic took over the game for Croatia and for a long time he looked like the saviour. Mulaomerovic scored 26 points to go with 3 assists, hitting 3 of 4 of his attempts from behind the arc. In the second half Croatia got a big contribution from Chicago Bulls center Dalibor Bagaric who gave them 13 points and 8 rebounds.
|Dalibor Bagaric (Croatia)|
Russian forward Victor Khriapa played a terrific second half and was a big reason why Russia got back in the game. Khriapa hit 3 three-pointers, grabbed 5 rebounds and had 2 blocks in the second half. He finished the game with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Russian captain Vassili Karassev showed that he has ice in his veins, when he stepped up and hit 4 straight free throws in the final seconds to preserve Russia's win. Karassev scored 13 points in the game and was a perfect 6-6 from the line.
The fourth quarter of the game was very dramatic. Croatia led 61-58 going in to the final period and quickly jumped out to a 66-60 lead. Then Kirilenko scored 6 straight points for Russia, first on a 3-point play where he was fouled while making a layup and then he hit a big 3-pointer to tie the game at 66 a piece.
Mulaomerovic hit what seemed to be a backbreaking three a few minutes later, pushing the Croatian lead to 75-71. Kirilenko then stole the ball and went in for an uncontested dunk and hit 2 free throws on the next possession. With Croatia on top 76-75 Sergei Monia stole the ball and got another breakaway dunk to give Russia its first lead since the score was 5-4 in the first quarter. Karassev hit 4 free throws at the end for the final margin.