FIBA World Cup 2019: USA edge past Turkey in overtime

By Sports Desk September 03, 2019

The United States had a narrow escape at the FIBA World Cup on Tuesday as Gregg Popovich's depleted team beat Turkey in overtime. 

After Turkey missed four consecutive free throws in the final 10 seconds, Khris Middleton made a pair from the line with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime as USA secured a dramatic 93-92 win.

In doing so, they avoided their first loss in the preliminary rounds at a World Cup since 1998. 

USA had a five-point lead with just under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter but watched Turkey go on a 7-0 run to go up 81-79 on Ersan Ilyasova's tip-in of Cedi Osman's miss with 12.3 seconds left. 

Popovich's team went for the win on their final possession of regulation, with Middleton firing up an effort from beyond the arc. He missed, but Kemba Walker secured the rebound and got it to Jayson Tatum, who managed to draw a foul from Osman while in the act of shooting from behind the three-point line at the buzzer. 

With a chance to seal the game in his hands, Tatum made the first but missed the second and had to drain the third to send it to overtime, where the back-and-forth nature of the game continued. 

Turkey stretched out a five-point advantage to open the extra session before USA rallied to take a 91-89 lead on a Tatum layup with 1:50 to play, but Osman converted a three-pointer a minute later to put the underdogs back on top. 

After a Joe Harris miss, USA got the ball back when Walker drew a charge with 14.6 seconds to play, but Myles Turner turned it over.

Harris was called for an intentional foul, sending Dogus Balbay to the line for two. He missed both, but Turkey still had the ball, so Marcus Smart immediately fouled Osman. The Cavaliers forward missed his two shots as well, handing USA one last lifeline that Middleton was able to convert. 

The Milwaukee Bucks star led USA with 15 points while Walker added 14. Ilyasova had 23 for Turkey to lead all scorers.

Related items

  • Raptors & Pascal Siakam reportedly agree to multi-year extension Raptors & Pascal Siakam reportedly agree to multi-year extension

    The Toronto Raptors have agreed to a four-year, $130million extension with Pascal Siakam, according to reports.

    ESPN claimed the Raptors have come to terms on a max deal for Siakam, a key player in Toronto's run to a maiden NBA title last season.

    Siakam had a breakout year for Toronto last season and was named the NBA's Most Improved Player for his efforts. The Cameroonian averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

    Siakam finished the NBA Finals, in which the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 4-2, averaging 19.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

    Drafted by Toronto with the 27th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the New Mexico State product spent most of his rookie season in the G League where he won Finals MVP and the championship with Raptors 905.

     

  • Kyrie Irving 'conflicted' but keeps talks private amid latest China protest Kyrie Irving 'conflicted' but keeps talks private amid latest China protest

    Kyrie Irving acknowledged he was "conflicted" but would not divulge discussions with commissioner Adam Silver as the NBA's relationship with China remains on the agenda.

    Preseason games in China - involving Irving's Brooklyn Nets - were at the centre of controversy after a since-deleted tweet from Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey supported anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

    Morey's comments overshadowed what had been expected to be a celebration of the NBA in one of their key international markets, with media duties cancelled, although the games went ahead.

    LeBron James, whose Los Angeles Lakers were also involved, weighed in on his return to the United States, suggesting Morey "wasn't educated" on the matter.

    And Irving was asked about the situation following the Nets' final preseason game against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center, where fans were pictured wearing "Stand with Hong Kong" shirts in the stands.

    Questions centred on a reported behind-closed-doors meeting between Silver and the players involved in China.

    "I don't know whose notes [reports are from] or who is in there that you can't really depend on to keep a conversation like that in house," Irving said. "Especially when it is about the NBA brand and the NBA players being impacted by it.

    "I stand for four things, man: inner peace, freedom, equality and world peace. So, if that is being conflicted inside of me, I am definitely going to have something to say, and I left it in that room."

    Irving, who scored 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting in the defeat to the Raptors, added: "I understand that Hong Kong and China is dealing with their issues, respectively.

    "But there is enough oppression and stuff going on in America for me not to be involved in the community issues here as well."

    Silver claimed earlier this week the Chinese government had asked the NBA to fire Morey, adding: "We said there's no chance that's happening. There's no chance we'll even discipline him."

  • Rockets positive after Westbrook scare as 'ridiculous' Harden stuns D'Antoni Rockets positive after Westbrook scare as 'ridiculous' Harden stuns D'Antoni

    Russell Westbrook "will be alright" after his injury scare for the Houston Rockets, while coach Mike D'Antoni was stunned by another sublime performance from James Harden.

    Harden had 44 points, seven assists, five rebounds and five steals in 35 minutes as the Rockets finished their preseason campaign with a 144-133 road win over the Miami Heat.

    Point guard Westbrook left Friday's game in the fourth quarter in visible pain and ran directly into the tunnel after hurting his hand, while Austin Rivers suffered with a shoulder problem.

    D'Antoni explained Westbrook, who scored 16 points, had suffered a finger dislocation just two days after the same thing happened in Wednesday's game with the San Antonio Spurs, which had meant he played this one with a bandage.

    The Rockets begin the NBA season at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.

    "With Russ it was just his fingers got dislocated," said D'Antoni. "Pop them back into place and then go play, he'll be alright.

    "Both of them told me they were OK, so we'll take that. Austin said he was OK, I don't know exactly what that means but it is up in his [shoulder] – he also strained that in Washington last year."

    The Rockets ended the preseason with a 4-2 record and hopes for a championship challenge are high after former Oklahoma City Thunder team-mates Harden and Westbrook were reunited in the offseason.

    D'Antoni was lost for words by Harden's display against the Heat. He connected with 8-of-16 three-pointers and played like it was game seven of the NBA Finals.

    "That's the way he's wired - he loves to play," added D'Antoni. "I couldn't take him out in the fourth quarter if I wanted to. He wanted to play and he'd play 48 minutes if he could.  

    "James was ridiculous. He gets better every time. I don't know what his ceiling is but he seems to be the most improved player of the year for me, he's ridiculous."

    Harden, meanwhile, was eager to get the regular season started after being asked for his initial feelings about how playing with Westbrook again had been.

    "Great," the 2018 MVP said. "Now preseason is over with and we get to the real thing. It's gonna be a long season of just trying to communicate and be on the same page, not only me and Russ - our entire team. 

    "This preseason was a good test for us, now we're excited for the real challenge."

    Asked if this was the most powerful Rockets team since he had been with the franchise, Harden added: "Yeah, I think so."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.