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Bojan Bogdanovic scores 26 as Croatia defeats Italy to gain spot in Rio Olympics


Bojan Bogdanovic is going to Rio de Janiero.

The Nets 6'8" shooting guard scored 26 points --his fourth straight 20 point effort-- and hit the dagger with 1:14 left in overtime, helping Croatia upset Italy and return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008.  Croatia was given little chance of coming out of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.  European powerhouses Italy and Greece were seen as the top two clubs in the competition but Bogdanovic and 76er draft pick Dario Saric turned it on the last two games.

Bogdanovic shot 6-of-19 overall and 12-of-13 from the line --including 4-of-4 in the last minute of OT-- to take scoring honors for the fourth time in four games.  He averaged 24.2 points and 4.8 rebounds.

Bogdanovic hit a three-pointer with 1:14 left in overtime that put Croatia up 80-74 and Italy - with Danilo Gallinari and Luigi Datome forced to watch from the sidelines after fouling out in the fourth quarter - simply struggled to get any baskets. Andrea Bargnani, who finished with 4 points, played only 15 minutes, none in the overtime session.

So far, Bogdanovic is the only current Nets player slated to play in the Olympics. Juan Pablo Vaulet, the Nets stashed pick, is likely to make the Argentine national team.

Here's the highlight package...

Afterwards, Bogdanovic and Saric led a celebration.

" Ova ekipa blesava luda ova ekipa ima Muda" #sretnanovagodina #elbabo #cacaseruga #idemouriolagano

A video posted by Bojan Bogdanovic (@44bojan) on

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