On Wednesday, Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic made headlines after a dominant display for Slovenia, as they took down Nikola Jokic and the Serbian national team in a tune-up game for the upcoming 2022 EuroBasket tournament. 24 hours later and it’s Cleveland Cavaliers big man Lauri Markkanen who stole the show.
Markkanen led Finland to a 97-94 win over Ukraine with a mind-blowing performance. The 25-year-old dropped a game-high 42 points to send out a reminder that he’s more than capable of exploding on any given night.
Lauri Markannen today vs Ukraine:
11-22 FG pic.twitter.com/SpMlPy0gNy
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) August 18, 2022
Markkanen went 11-of-22 en route to his 42-point outburst. He also grabbed eight rebounds and logged three steals to round out what was an undeniably excellent performance.
Toronto Raptors swingman Svi Mykhailiuk led the way for Ukraine with a 20-point, five-assists outing. Unfortunately for Ukraine, it wasn’t enough against a determined Finland side.
Finland still has two exhibition games coming up: a bout against Israel on August 26th, followed by a matchup versus Estonia two days later. Markkanen and Co. then kick off their EuroBasket tournament on September 2nd against Israel.
Markkanen had a noteworthy season debut with the Cavs last term, averaging 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists, while also connecting on 2.2 triples per game at a 35.8-percent clip. He signed a four-year deal with the Cavs last summer, which will see him earn $16.5 million in 2022-23.
Lauri Markkanen isn’t exactly a superstar for Cleveland, but he still remains to be an integral part of the roster. A performance such as this should serve as a reminder for Cavs fans about what this man is truly capable of.