Sport: Jokic's Serbia prevails over Antetokounmpo's Greece

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — In the battle of two back-to-back NBA MVPs, it was Nikola Jokic who prevailed over Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Serbia's Nikola Jokic reacts during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) © Provided by Associated Press – Sports Serbia's Nikola Jokic reacts during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo, center, tries to score as Serbia's Marko Jagodic-Kuridza, left, and Serbia's Nikola Milutinov block him during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) © Provided by Associated Press – Sports Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo, center, tries to score as Serbia's Marko Jagodic-Kuridza, left, and Serbia's Nikola Milutinov block him during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Jokic’s Serbia had to fight hard for a 100-94 overtime victory against Antetokounmpo’s Greece in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday night in front of a 20,000 home crowd.

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“Very hard and interesting game,” Jokic said afterward. “Thanks to our fans. They were our sixth player.”

When Jokic last year refused to play for the Serbian national team he quickly turned from a national hero into a villain. The match Thursday marked his return to popularity.

Serbia's Nikola Jokic, left, tries to score as Greece's Nick Calathes, center, and Greece's Kostas Papanikolaou block him during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) © Provided by Associated Press – Sports Serbia's Nikola Jokic, left, tries to score as Greece's Nick Calathes, center, and Greece's Kostas Papanikolaou block him during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

The two NBA superstars had a long chat on court during the pre-game warmup with good-natured exchanges during the game itself.

Saudi crown prince: First EU visit since Khashoggi killing

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Tennis great Novak Djokovic was among the spectators. Both Jokic and Antetokounmpo spoke briefly to Djokovic who on Thursday announced he will not play in the U.S. Open because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and thus is not allowed to travel to the United States.

Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to score during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) © Provided by Associated Press – Sports Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to score during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Jokic scored two consecutive baskets in overtime to give Serbia a six-point lead (95-89) with 2:57 left. Jokic also scored an impressive 3-pointer over Antetokounmpo in the final minutes of regular time.

Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks a ball during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) © Provided by Associated Press – Sports Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks a ball during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifiers match between Serbia and Greece, in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Antetokounmpo had a career high for the Greek national team with 40 points. Jokic scored 29.

Serbia warns NATO over safety of Kosovo Serbs

  Serbia warns NATO over safety of Kosovo Serbs The West fears that Russia is trying to encourage Belgrade to destabilize the region.Ethnic Serbs working in Kosovo will leave their jobs unless a deal is reached to end their "persecution," Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warned on Sunday. The comments follow the collapse of political talks between Serbian and Kosovo leaders earlier this week, mediated by the European Union in Brussels. License plate rule reignites tensions Already tense relations between the two neighbors worsened recently after Kosovo authorities said they would require local Serbs to switch their car number plates from Serbian to Kosovan ones.

Serbia faces Turkey and Greece takes on Belgium in their next World Cup qualifiers.

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Steve Bannon surrenders in Manhattan 'We Build the Wall' donor-scam case .
He will be held pending an arraignment on state charges that he pocketed donations from the sham "We Build the Wall" charity in 2018.The Tesla and SpaceX CEO — who's currently embroiled in a battle over the future of Twitter  — was spotted Sunday aboard a luxury yacht in Mykonos, Greece. Joined by a group of friends that included Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and his fashion-designer wife, Sarah Staudinger, Musk spent the day swimming, sunning himself, drinking cocktails, and even getting hosed down by Emanuel.

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