U.S. finishes world championships pool play unbeaten | TahoeDailyTribune.com

U.S. finishes world championships pool play unbeaten

The Associated Press

ISTANBUL – Eric Gordon scored 21 points and the United States pulled away after a sluggish first half to beat Tunisia 92-57 Thursday in its final game of pool play at the world championship.

With nothing to play for, the Americans sleepwalked through most of the early start, leading the winless team by only four points early in the third quarter before turning it into a rout over the final 15 minutes.

The U.S. (5-0), seeded first in Group B, next plays on Monday against Angola, the No. 4 seed from Group A.

The Americans misfired on nine of their 10 3-point attempts in the first half and failed to show any sustained stretches of good offense.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 14 points for the U.S. team and Stephen Curry had 13.

Marouan Kechrid scored 15 points for Tunisia, which went 0-5 in its first appearance in the world championship.

Group A

Australia 76, Angola 55

Patty Mills scored 11 points to help Australia clinch third place in Group A.

Australia broke open the game with an 11-0 run in the second quarter. No player scored in double figures for Angola (2-3), which played without top scorer Olimpio Cipriano.

Australia (3-2), the third seed from Group A, will play Slovenia on Sunday in the round of 16.

Serbia 84, Argentina 82

Aleksandar Rasic made four free throws in the last 11 seconds to help Serbia upset Argentina for the top seed in Group A.

Argentina captain Luis Scola sank two free throws with 38 seconds left to make it 77-77, but Serbia forward Dusko Savanovic hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining to put his team in front.

Savanovic led Serbia with 19 points and Nenad Krstic added 18. Krstic played his second game after a three-game suspension for a brawl against Greece.

Scola scored 32 points, his fourth straight game of 30 or more.

Both teams advanced to the knockout stage with 4-1 records. Serbia plays Group B No. 4 seed Croatia on Saturday and Argentina takes on Brazil, Group B’s third seed, on Tuesday.

Group B

Slovenia 65, Iran 60

Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns scored 18 points, and Slovenia surged into the elimination stage with a victory over Iran.

The Slovenians (4-1) won their last three games after losing to the United States to take the No. 2 seed from Group B.

Miha Zupan added 15 points for Slovenia, while Sani Becirovic and Bostjan Nachbar each scored 10.

Hamed Haddadi of the Memphis Grizzlies finished a strong tournament by scoring 15 points for Iran, the Asian champion that went 1-4 in its first appearance in the world championship.

Brazil 92, Croatia 74

Marcelo Machado scored 18 points, Anderson Varejao grabbed 12 rebounds in his longest stint at the world championship, and Brazil clinched third place in Group B.

Leandro Barbosa had 17 points and Alex Garcia added 15 for Brazil (3-2), which bounced back from a pair of narrow losses. They took control by hitting 7 of 10 shots in the second quarter.

Marko Popovic scored 15 points for Croatia (2-3).

Group C

Turkey 87, China 40

Oguz Savas scored 20 points and Turkey cruised to victory in its final group game.

Turkey (5-0), which had already won Group C, went on a 20-0 run to lead 39-13 at the break. It plays France, fourth in Group D, on Sunday.

China (1-4) reached the next round on points differential ahead of Ivory Coast and Puerto Rico, getting a matchup against Group D No. 1 Lithuania on Tuesday.

Russia 73, Greece 69

Timofey Mozgov scored 18 points to send Russia (4-1) to the knockout round as the second seed in Group C.

Andrey Vorontsevich’s dunk with 4 seconds to go in the third quarter increased Russia’s lead to 16 points. The game was tied 30-30 at halftime.

Sofoklis Schortsanitis scored 16 points for Greece (3-2), after having missed two games because of a suspension following a brawl with Serbia.

Russia (4-1) finished second in Group C and plays New Zealand on Monday. Greece (3-2) took third and will play Spain, second in Group D, on Saturday.

Ivory Coast 88, Puerto Rico 79

Charles Abouo scored 19 points to lead Ivory Coast to the victory over Puerto Rico.

Neither team advanced out of group play.

Mohamed Kone had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Mamadou Lamizana added 17 points for the Ivory Coast (1-4). Jose Barea scored 19 points for Puerto Rico (1-4).

Group D

Spain 89, Canada 67

Rudy Fernandez and Fran Vasquez each had 19 points, while Ricky Rubio had eight points and eight assists to lead Spain to its second consecutive strong game in the rout of winless Canada.

Spain (3-2) earned the second seed to get the matchup with Greece.

Kelly Olynyk led Canada (0-5) with 14 points, and Jevohn Shepherd had 12.

Lithuania 84, Lebanon 66

Guard Renaldas Seibutis led Lithuania with 17 points, and Martynus Gecevicius added 16 as Lithuania ended pool play with a 5-0 record.

Lebanon (1-4) had already been eliminated, its fate in the six-team group sealed with a loss to Spain on Wednesday.

Rony Fahed scored 19 points to lead Lebanon in the teams’ first meeting in a major international tournament.

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