Bojan Bogdanovic of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets scored a game-high 33 on 10 for 16 shooting as Brazil struggled to contain him. Dario Saric, who added 15 points, put back an offensive rebound with 56.7 seconds left that gave Croatia (2-1) a 77-72 lead and enough space to close out the game.
Croatia led by as much as 14 deep into the third period but Brazil made it 75-72 with back-to-back three-pointers by Alex Garcia and Guilherme Giovannoni with just over a minute left that had the raucous home crowd smelling another win.
But Brazil never got closer as the two sides traded fouls down the stretch. Leandro Barbosa scored 16 for Brazil (1-2) and Marcelinho Huertas had 10 points and nine assists.
The result leaves Croatia at 2-1, and Brazil at 1-2.