Team USA survives OT scare from Turkey at World Cup
Reigning champions the United States were given a huge scare in a nail-biting 93-92 overtime victory over Turkey at the Basketball World Cup on Tuesday to labour into the second round. Khris Middleton was the overtime hero for Gregg Popovich's young team, who are chasing a third straight title, but are missing their stellar names and are yet to really gel.
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 Mahmutoğlu 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 U.S. faces Japan on Thursday.