US survives OT thriller vs Turkey

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    SHANGHAI. — Khris Middleton sank two free throws with 2.1 seconds left and Team USA improved to 2-0 in group play with a 93-92 overtime victory against Turkey on Tuesday at the FIBA World Cup in Shanghai, China.

    Turkey failed to extend a 92-91 lead by missing four consecutive free throws prior to the clutch shots by Middleton, who led the Americans with 15 points.

    Ersan Ilyasova, who led all scorers with 23 points, missed a desperation 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer.

    Ilyasova’s tip-in put Turkey ahead 81-79 with 11 seconds left in regulation, but Cedi Osman fouled Jayson Tatum on a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Tatum made two of his three free throws to send the game into the extra period.

    Kemba Walker added 14 points and Tatum finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Joe Harris (11), Myles Turner (11) and Harrison Barnes (10) also scored in double figures for Team USA, which shot only 35 percent from the field. Donovan Mitchell was held to nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.

    Tatum left the game with a sprained left ankle and will be re-evaluated Wednesday, according to ESPN.

    Ilyasova added a game-high 14 rebounds for the Turks, while fellow NBA players Osman (15) and Furkan Korkmaz (16) scored in double figures. Melih Mahmutoglu added 18 points.

    Team USA sits atop Group E at 2-0, followed by Turkey and the Czech Republic at 1-1 and Japan at 0-2. The US faces Japan on Thursday.

    In other results, Brazil rallied in the second half and scraped by Greece, 79-78, to rise to the top of Group F and book their spot in the second round.

    Greece had a strong start in this game as the led by as many as 17 points in the first half, thanks mainly to great play from the backcourt of Kostas Sloukas and Nick Calathes.

    Its biggest star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was hampered by foul trouble throughout the game, making only one field goal in the entire first half and finishing with a total of 13 points when he fouled out late in the fourth quarter.

    With 50 seconds remaining in overtime, Osman completed an old-fashioned three-point play to give Turkey a one-point lead. Dogus Balbay missed two free throws shortly thereafter, but since Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris was called for an unsportsmanlike foul, Turkey retained possession.

    Osman was fouled on the inbound play, but he missed both of his free throws as well, which left the door open for Team USA. Middleton was fouled on a drive to the basket with two seconds left and made both of his free throws, while Ilyasova missed an open three as time expired.

    Tatum, who made a quality pass to Middleton before he was fouled, appeared to injure his ankle on the play and had to leave the game. – Reuters