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2019 FIBA World Cup: Team USA basketball edges Turkey in overtime

By
Connor Grott
Team USA forward Harrison Barnes reacts after a play against Turkey during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Tuesday in Shanghai, China. Photo by Wu Hong/EPA-EFE
Team USA forward Harrison Barnes reacts after a play against Turkey during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Tuesday in Shanghai, China. Photo by Wu Hong/EPA-EFE

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The Team USA men's basketball team escaped with a 93-92 overtime win over Turkey at the 2019 FIBA World Cup on Tuesday in Shanghai, China.

With the victory, the U.S. men's squad extended their winning streak to 44 games in major tournaments and ensured the Americans will advance to the medal second round out of Group E.

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"It was a heck of a game," Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters. "As we all know, it was anybody's game. We will accept the win, but it was anybody's to win. The team that we played tonight again showed its experience and the improvement we have to make execution-wise. We're not there yet.

"We're still trying to get better at that. But, playing a fine team like that gives us another good example of how we can be when everybody knows what they're supposed to be doing on the court. So, I give them a lot of praise for what I saw."

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After Team USA forward Jayson Tatum was fouled with 0.1 seconds left and knocked down 2-of-3 free throws to send the game into overtime, Khris Middleton sank two free throws with 2.1 seconds left in overtime to seal the victory.

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Turkey's Cedi Osman and Dogus Balbay each missed two free throws with nine seconds remaining in overtime to set up the Americans' narrow win.

"I think it's going to give us confidence," Middleton said. "Guys made big plays down the stretch, as far as the dirty extra plays, grabbing a rebound, getting a steal, a box out, whatever. Coming up with the ball and making a play down the end, I think that definitely gives us confidence knowing that we didn't play up to our expectations to some point."

Middleton finished with a team-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Kemba Walker recorded 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

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Tatum, who exited the game after suffering an ankle sprain, had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Joe Harris notched 11 points and five boards in 20 minutes off the bench.

Myles Turner registered 11 points and nine rebounds, and Harrison Barnes added 10 points and six boards. Donovan Mitchell struggled offensively, scoring nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.

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Ersan Ilyasova led Turkey with a game-high 23 points and 14 rebounds. Melih Mahmutoglu scored 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, and Furkan Korkmaz had 16 points and four rebounds.

Osman chipped in 15 points and four assists, and Scott Wilbekin added 12 points and three assists.

Team USA will conclude first-round play against Japan (0-2) on Thursday.

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