Golden State Warriors’ guard Lester Quinones has produced his best performance to date at the FIBA World Cup, though crucially fouled out late in the Dominican Republic’s 102-97 loss to Puerto Rico on Friday.
Quinones fouled out with 5:28 to play in the game, with the Puerto Ricans outscoring the Dominicans 33-23 in the four-quarter to claim a five-point victory in the teams’ opening game of the second-round.
Golden State Warriors’ two-way contracted player Lester Quinones finished with 13 points and three rebounds against Puerto Rico.
Coming off the bench for the second-straight game, Quinones entered the game with 2:38 left in the opening period. After missing his first two shot attempts, the 22-year-old made his first basket with 10 seconds remaining on a driving layup.
He knocked down a shot and got to the free-throw line on two-straight possessions midway through the second-quarter, before nailing a three and another layup in the closing minutes to finish the first-half with ten points.
Quinones nailed his second three during the third-quarter but was forced to sit for a large portion of the second-half due to foul trouble. It proved costly for his team given the 6’4″ guard was a team-high +13 in the game.
Quinones finished with 13 points, three rebounds and one steal, shooting an efficient 5-for-9 from the floor, 2-for-4 from the three-point line, and 1-for-2 from the free-throw line. It was a much needed bounceback performance for the 2023 G League Most Improved player, having scored just one field-goal and 11 total points across the opening three group games.
Minnesota Timberwolves’ All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns had 39 points, ten rebounds and two blocks for the Dominicans, but he and Quinones’ performances went in vain as they lost their first game of the tournament.
Quinones and the Dominican Republic will now face a must-win game against Serbia on Sunday as they battle it out for a spot in the quarter-finals.