Team USA Survives Turkey in FIBA World Cup Round 1 Play

Team USA Turkey FIBA
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Khris Middleton warms up during game two of the International Basketball series between the Australian Boomers and United States of America at Marvel Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)

Team USA narrowly beats Turkey in overtime with a score of 93-92 in Shanghai, China. The Americans move to 2-0 in FIBA World Cup 2019 play. The streak is still alive as the last time the Americans lost in an official tournament was in the 2004 Athens’ Olympics versus Argentina in the semifinal round.

Team USA Survives Scare from Turkey

Final Seconds and Overtime

In the 4th Quarter, the American team was down 79-81 with 10.8 seconds left. Khris Middleton missed a three and after a Donovan Mitchell rebound and a Kemba Walker save, Jayson Tatum got fouled on the shot and made 2 of 3 free-throws to send the game into overtime.

During overtime, Turkey missed four straight free-throws with a chance to ice the game leading 92-91. After Cedi Osman missed both his free-throws, Middleton was fouled while driving to the paint and made both to seal the game for Team USA.

Jayson Tatum Injury

During the play, Team USA was on a fast break, Tatum appeared to twist his ankle and it was confirmed after the game that he suffered a sprain. The degree of the sprain and his timeline is still yet to be determined.

His health will be an interesting storyline as this World Cup goes along. How healthy will Tatum be when he comes back? Will the Boston Celtics allow him to play again this World Cup? Tatum is a key piece in this Team USA roster and they will need all the firepower they have if they are to keep the crown in the United States of America.

Game Recap and Outlook

Walker led the Americans with 14 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. Ersan Ilyasova meanwhile led the Turkish squad with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Team USA will play Japan on Wednesday to secure the top spot in Group E. Turkey meanwhile will play Czech Republic to try to advance to the last 16 (if Japan loses to Team USA).

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