The quarter-final draw for the FIBA World Cup was completed on Monday with the United States to face France in perhaps the pick of the games.

Team USA defeated Brazil to send their opponents crashing out, with Czech Republic instead advancing having held Greece to only a narrow victory earlier in the day.

Australia edged France in Group L to avoid a last-eight meeting with defending champions USA, who will instead face the second-placed side.

Lithuania bowed out with a victory in the same pool, beating Dominican Republic 74-55.

In the classification round, Montenegro, New Zealand, Jordan and Germany achieved wins against Japan, Turkey, Senegal and Canada respectively.

New Zealand and Germany each finished top of their groups.
 

PAIN FOR GREECE AND GIANNIS

Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo could not lead Greece to World Cup glory as he fouled out for the second time in the tournament in their 84-77 win over Czech Republic.

Only a 12-point margin of victory would have been enough to keep Greece's hopes of progression alive but they could not hold on after leading 65-53 in the fourth quarter.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis' brother and Milwaukee Bucks team-mate, said: "Our first objective was to win, and then to win by 12. We paid for the game against Brazil in the first round.

"But this is basketball. Sometimes you are on top, sometimes you're on the other side."
 

USA DENY BRAZIL PROGRESSION

Czech Republic still had to wait on the final result of the day, where they needed USA to beat Brazil in order to join the American side in the next stage.

Their progression was sealed, dumping Brazil out, as Kemba Walker and Myles Turner starred with 16 points apiece in the United States' 89-73 success.

Walker also supplied five assists and Turner eight rebounds, despite the latter playing just 20 minutes and 41 seconds for Gregg Popovich's side in Shenzhen.
 

BOOMERS SCORE BIG TO BEAT FRANCE

It is Australia who will play Czech Republic next after booking a place on the opposite side of the draw to USA by handing France a narrow defeat.

A final scoreline of 100-98 represented the first time France have ever given up a century of points in a World Cup game, with Evan Fournier's 31 not enough to rescue a result.

This was the first match at the tournament with two players scoring at least 30 points, while Australia became the first to have three on 20 or more, as Patty Mills managed exactly 30, with Joe Ingles on 23 and Aron Baynes – who converted five of his six three-point attempts - on 21.

Team-mate Jock Landale said of Baynes: "He's huge. That's what he does for us. He's a stretched five, who shoots the ball really well. He is going to keep doing it for us and we are going to keep letting him shoot."

NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out as Greece were eliminated from the FIBA World Cup despite an 84-77 win over Czech Republic.

Greece needed a 12-point margin of victory to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals, but their star man was unable to lead the way.

The Czechs led at half-time and, despite a strong third quarter from Greece, their hopes were dashed in the final reckoning as Antetokounmpo was forced out of the game after being pinged for a contentious charge.

The Milwaukee Bucks talisman had made consecutive double-doubles in his past two games, including against the United States, but he was not as impressive on Monday.

Antetokounmpo, who fouled out with five and half minutes remaining, ended with 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the 24-year-old and his team, who were 65-53 up when he came back into the game during the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Czech Republic needed the USA to beat Brazil to ensure they make the knockout phase.

The Philadelphia 76ers are looking into claims Mike Scott was involved in an altercation with Philadelphia Eagles fans before Sunday's NFL match against the Washington Redskins.

The 76ers forward, who is a Redskins fan, sported a Washington jersey and hat and was participating in tailgate festivities before kick-off.

Footage of an incident alleged to have involved Scott was shared across social media, with the Sixers responding to the claims about their player. It was unclear what may have led to the apparent altercation.

"We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering more information," the Sixers said in a statement. "We will have no further comment at this time."

Spain put in a dominant performance against heavy hitters Serbia to set up a clash with Poland in the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup.

Serbia had the best offense of the tournament heading into Sunday's encounter, but Spain held firm in Wuhan to secure an 81-69 victory and top spot in Group J.

Poland finished second behind Argentina in Group I following a 91-65 defeat to the South Americans, while Russia beat Venezuela 69-60 in the same pool.

Meanwhile, Italy ended their campaign with an impressive comeback against Puerto Rico, Tunisia came out on top by just two points against Angola and South Korea got the better of Ivory Coast.

RUBIO RUNS THE SHOW AS SPAIN STALL SERBIA

Ricky Rubio was in scintillating form as he scored 19 points and added four assists to lead Spain to victory over Serbia, who suffered their first defeat since February.

Rubio was backed up admirably by Marc Gasol and Victor Claver, as Spain earned a fifth successive win.

It was the first time Serbia failed to score 70 points or more in a World Cup match, even though Bogdan Bogdanovic grabbed 26 points in a supreme individual display.

While Spain will face Poland in the last eight, Serbia must rally for a tough test against Argentina.

NIGERIA BOOK OLYMPIC SPOT

Hosts China slipped to an 86-73 defeat in Guangzhou, as Nigeria grasped a place at the 2020 Olympics.

Josh Okogie helped himself to 19 points for Nigeria, with 11 coming in the final quarter. Jianlian Yi was the start of the show with 27 points, but his performance was not enough to secure a Chinese victory.

Nigeria's NBA forward Al-Farouq Aminu said on the FIBA website: "I remember when I joined the team in 2012 we said we did not want to miss an Olympics. It's a beautiful feeling. It's amazing."

China are in danger of missing out on direct qualification for the Olympics, with Iran going above them in the race for Tokyo thanks to their 95-75 win over Philippines.

AZZURRI FIGHT BACK TO OVERCOME PUERTO RICO

Marco Belinelli and Danilo Gallinari inspired Italy to overcome a 26-point deficit as the Azzurri triumphed 94-89 in overtime against Puerto Rico to end a frustrating campaign on a positive note.

Italy had never previously won a World Cup match in which they trailed by 15 points or more at half-time, but Belinelli and Gallinari rallied their team-mates after a timeout taken when 59-33 behind midway through the third quarter.

Belinelli converted a game-high 27 points, while Gallinari became the first Italy player to accumulate more than 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a World Cup game since 1994.

"It was a very bad game for us in the beginning. We did not show up," Gallinari said. "We knew that we had to come out with a different attitude and different intensity in the second half and I think that we did a great job."

Defending FIBA World Cup champions the United States advanced to the quarter-finals by defeating Greece, while Canada made history against Jordan.

NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was unable to lead Greece to a shock victory over Team USA in Shenzhen, leaving them requiring a big win over the Czech Republic in their final second-round match if they are to have a chance of reaching the last eight.

Australia overcame the Dominican Republic 82-76 and France beat Lithuania 78-75 in a dramatic finale, meaning the two victors secured their progression and will battle it out for top spot in Group L on Monday.

The Czech Republic kept their hopes of reaching the last eight alive by defeating Brazil 93-71 – Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky producing a sensational all-round display with 20 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

In the classification round, there were victories for Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Turkey.

 

GIANNIS FAILS TO GET GREECE FIRING

Antetokounmpo was expected to be key to Greece's hopes of pulling off an upset against the United States and he had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

However, he was -17 in his 27 minutes on the floor – the worst +/- rating of anyone on his team – and it was while he was on the bench that Greece closed the gap to 11 points with four minutes remaining.

Kemba Walker led USA with 15 points, while Donovan Mitchell contributed 10.

 

BOOMERS STILL BOOMING

Patty Mills posted 19 points and nine assists as Australia held off the Dominican Republic for their fourth straight win.

Jock Londale impressed with 13 points on five-of-six shooting, while Chris Goulding added 15 and Aron Baynes put up 10.

Baynes fouled out with six minutes remaining in the third quarter, but replacement Andrew Bogut stepped up and provided eight points, eight rebounds and six assists.

 

FRANCE THROUGH

Nando De Colo sunk a fadeaway jump shot with 15 seconds of the match remaining to put France three points clear of Lithuania, who saw Jonas Maciulis fail to make a buzzer-beating shot from beyond the arc.

De Colo had 21 points off the bench, while Evan Fournier scored 24 in a commanding display.

Rudy Gobert said: "It was like a final for us. We knew we had to win this game in order to qualify for the quarter-finals. We know that Australia is a tough team too, but we are taking it one game at a time. We are going to get some rest and get ready for Australia."

 

HISTORY FOR CANADA

Nick Nurse's side sank 24 three-pointers in their 126-71 triumph over Jordan, the most in a single FIBA World Cup game.

Canada shot at 58.7 per cent from the floor and combined for 37 assists, equalling the record set by Serbia in their victory over the Philippines in the first round.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was unable to inspire Greece to a victory over the United States, who reached the FIBA World Cup quarter-finals with a 69-53 win on Saturday.

Greec claimed an early lead, but it did not take long for Team USA to pull away and take control of the game by figuring out how to contain NBA MVP Antetokounmpo.

The Milwaukee Bucks star finished the first half four of eight from the field, while his team were held to 26 per cent shooting. Gregg Popovich's side entered half-time with a 39-25 advantage and came out even stronger in the second.

The USA have won all four of their matches in China, while Greece will need a big win over Czech Republic in their final second-round game if they are to have a chance of reaching the last eight.

Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell once again led the Americans, with the Boston Celtics guard contributing 15 points and the latter adding 10.

Jaylen Brown also made an impact, scoring eight points over the first 11 minutes to help Team USA build a 22-20 lead before they broke the game open.

Antetokounmpo was expected to be a big threat after playing relatively light minutes in the first stage, and while he scored 15 points with 13 rebounds he was -17 in his 27 minutes on the floor – the worst +/- rating of any Greece player.

Thanasis Skourtopoulos' team closed the gap to 11 points with just over four minutes to play in the fourth quarter while Antetokounmpo was on the bench, but they failed to make further inroads.

The USA take on Brazil on Monday in their final match of the second round.

Spain and Serbia booked their spots in the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup on Friday.

Spain overcame Italy 67-60 and Serbia thrashed Puerto Rico 90-47 as they both guaranteed qualification from Group J.

The two nations will battle it out for top spot when they meet in a mouth-watering clash in Wuhan on Sunday.

Poland and Argentina also advanced with victories over Russia and Venezuela respectively.

Hosts China scored a 77-73 win over South Korea in the classification round, while there were also triumphs for Nigeria, Iran and Tunisia.

 

ITALY LOSE IT LATE

Spain were trailing 56-52 with four minutes to play against Italy, but Ricky Rubio helped lead a 10-0 run as Italy were put to the sword.

The Phoenix Suns guard finished with 15 points, two assists and two steals, though he recorded seven turnovers – a joint-high for him in a World Cup game.

Juancho Hernangomez had a game-high 16 points as Italy came up short and saw their hopes of reaching the last eight go up in smoke.

Marc Gasol had just two points and four rebounds in his 27 minutes on the floor.

 

SERBIA TOO GOOD FOR PUERTO RICO

A fourth win on the trot always looked likely for Serbia, who opened the scoring and never trailed against Puerto Rico.

Five Serbia players reached double figures in points, while the towering Boban Marjanovic went seven-of-eight from the field for 16 points.

The European side out-rebounded their opponents 48-26 and used all 12 of their players in a routine victory.

Nikola Jokic claimed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

 

DECK DECKS VENEZUELA

Argentina had Gabriel Deck to thank for their 87-67 triumph over Venezuela; the Real Madrid forward had 25 points off nine-of-12 shooting in a comfortable win.

Poland joined them in advancing from Group I.

Adam Waczynski scored eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as Poland came from behind to down Russia 79-74.

Mateusz Ponitka contributed 14 points and nine rebounds, as Mikhail Kulagin's game-high 21 proved insufficient for Russia.

Like Spain and Serbia, Poland and Argentina will fight for top spot on Sunday. They go head to head in Foshan.

Josh Hart is not happy with how the Los Angeles Lakers' trade for Anthony Davis went down.

The Lakers acquired Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in June for Hart, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and three first-round picks, but apparently the organisation did not keep the players in the loop.

"I played my a*** off for the purple and gold," Hart wrote on Twitter.

"Played hurt and never had an excuse. I'm truly grateful to the Lakers organisation and I do understand the NBA is a business.

"But as a player you just want the courtesy of a phone call saying I got traded and not finding out on Twitter."

Hart did not appear to be upset with the trade at the time as he posted a photo to Instagram of him smiling immediately after the deal.

Clearly though, while he may have been happy to have been moved by the Lakers, he was not a fan of how the team handled the move.

Hart will now play alongside top overall pick Zion Williamson in New Orleans along with Ball and Ingram as well as star guard Jrue Holiday.

He may not have liked how he unceremoniously left Los Angeles, but he wanted to make sure people knew he did appreciate his time there.

"Let's make this clear. I loved my time in LA and loved my coaches, team=mates and training staff," Hart wrote.

"Got nothing but love and respect for the front office."

After acquiring Davis, the Lakers also inked Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and DeMarcus Cousins to new deals. Recently they added Dwight Howard as well.

With the first week of the NFL season approaching, certain deals had to get done and several of them actually did.

One we were not sure would be finalised but are not surprised it was got wrapped up in Dallas, another caught us off guard in Los Angeles and in Indianapolis one flew in under the radar.

And as the NFL season starts up, the MLB season winds down, but even as it does the drama is actually increasing.

All of that and more this week in US Sports.

 

1. Ezekiel Elliott locked up, Jared Goff is now a rich man

The Cowboys had to get this deal done. Ezekiel Elliott has led the NFL in rushing in two of his first three seasons, and when Dallas were without Elliott over a six-week span in 2017, the Cowboys went 3-3 and their offense looked abysmal.

So Elliott had to be signed and he became the richest running back in football, inking a six-year extension worth $90million ($50m guaranteed). Again, this had to get done so it was not too surprising that it did.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the Rams did not have to pay Jared Goff but they decided to do just that, signing him up to a four-year extension worth $134m ($110 m) guaranteed. Goff's guaranteed money surpasses the most ever paid to an NFL player, passing Carson Wentz's $107.9m.

Then in Indy, the Colts signed new starter Jacoby Brissett to a two-year, $30m extension as well. Many may think the Colts will take a step back with the surprising retirement of Andrew Luck, but the team clearly believe Brissett is good enough to get a chance to lead them.

2. MLB races heating up

Absolutely nothing is decided yet in the MLB playoff race. In the American League (AL), the Houston Astros and New York Yankees are 1.5 games apart for the best record in the league and home-field advantage in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians are all separated by one game for two wildcard spots.

In the National League (NL), the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to have the best record locked up but the Atlanta Braves are not too far back as they trail by six games with 22 to play. It is not insurmountable but it will be tough to get there.

In the wildcard race, the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets are all fighting over two spots and separated by 7.5 games. The Nationals appear to have the top spot at hand as they led the Cubs by three games for the first wildcard spot, but again, anything could happen here.

The NFL may be starting up but the race for the playoffs in MLB is far from settled.

 

3. United States advance to second round of FIBA World Cup

It was not easy, but the United States have made it to the second round of the FIBA World Cup.

USA went 3-0 in pool play and survived a scare against Turkey to take the top seed in Group K in the second round. They are now matched up with 2018-19 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece and will play their first game of the second round on Saturday.

Khris Middleton is a team-mate of Antetokounmpo's in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks and he wants to see him succeed – just not against USA.

"We've spent hours in practice against each other and it will definitely be fun to get it in a real game," Middleton told Omnisport at USA practices in Las Vegas in August. "That's my team-mate, my brother and wish him the best but hopefully not too good against us."

4. Which NCAA quarterbacks are up? Which ones are down?

Quarterbacks get more attention in football than any other position and for good reason: the game is about the man under center and the NFL has made that abundantly clear with rules designed to make the passing game easier.

So who in the next wave of quarterbacks made headlines this week?

- Jalen Hurts transferred to Oklahoma from Alabama two years after leading the Crimson Tide to a National Championship game. He went 20-of-23 passing for 332 yards and threw three touchdown passes in OU's first win of the season. He also rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns. He looks like an early-season Heisman Trophy favourite.
- Hurts' replacement Tua Tagovailoa – who was the runner-up last season in the Heisman to OU's Kyler Murray – picked up right where he left off last year, going 26 of 31 for 336 yards with four touchdowns in Alabama's first game.
- Clemson sophomore Trevor Lawrence, who would likely be the number one pick if the NFL allowed true sophomores to enter the draft, had an OK first game, going 13 of 23 for 168 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions while also rushing for a touchdown in a win over Georgia Tech.
- USC sophomore J.T. Daniels suffered a season-ending injury and the Trojans are now scrambling to salvage their season.
- Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello left Saturday's win over Northwestern and is questionable for week two.

The quarterbacks are a big story once again this year and they will be throughout the season.

The United States were back on form as they responded to a narrow overtime win against Turkey by securing a 98-45 victory over Japan in Group E at the FIBA World Cup.

Team USA had complete control of the game from start to finish and the margin of victory was something they desperately needed after a dramatic finish against Turkey.

While Kemba Walker played consistently well, scoring 15 points with eight assists, Jaylen Brown emerged as a breakout star by adding 20 points with seven rebounds.

Gregg Popovich's side should face a tougher challenge when they take on Greece and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in their first second-round match on Saturday.

USA started fast and did not look back. They scored the first 13 points of the game and held Japan scoreless until the middle of the first quarter.

Boston Celtics duo Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart were sidelined due to injuries, but USA responded by sharing the ball.

All 10 players scored for Popovich's team, with Brown leading the way followed by Walker and Harrison Barnes, who had 14 points with eight rebounds.

Rui Hachimura, selected ninth overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards, did not live up to expectations for Japan as he scored four points on two-of-eight shooting. Yudai Baba (18) was the only player in double figures for Julio Lamas' men.

However, Hachimura had a few highlight moments where he stole the show, including a dunk over Myles Turner in the third quarter.

Japan scored just eight points in that period and although they matched USA's tally in the final quarter, an upset was already well out of reach.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was in sensational form as Greece booked their place in the FIBA World Cup second round, while the United States completed a clean sweep in Group E.

Greece won a qualification shoot-out against New Zealand 103-97 to follow Brazil out of Group F, the South American side making it three straight victories by overcoming Montenegro 84-73.

After needing overtime to see off Turkey last time out, Team USA were back on song as they hammered Japan 98-45.

Australia and France booked top spot in their respective groups with wins over Lithuania and Dominican Republic, while Germany and Canada got off the mark.

 

USA BACK ON TRACK

Team USA had five players in double figures for scoring as they comfortably saw off Japan in Shanghai.

Jaylen Brown had a game-high 20 points and Kemba Walker added 15 and eight assists in a routine victory for Gregg Popovich's side.

They will face tricky encounters against Greece and Brazil in the second round.

Turkey were unable to follow the USA out of Group E, as Czech Republic advanced at their expense courtesy of a 91-76 victory in their meeting.

 

GIANNIS GETS GREECE GOING

Having struggled to make his mark in Greece's opening two matches, Antetokounmpo ensured their campaign in China was not derailed in their first-round finale.

The Milwaukee Bucks forward posted a brilliant 24 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals to ensure Corey Webster's 31 points for New Zealand came in vain.

Defeat for the Tall Blacks meant rivals Australia qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games as the best ranked team from Oceania.

 

HISTORY FOR AUSTRALIA

The Boomers made it three straight wins at the start of a World Cup campaign for the first time in their history with an 87-82 victory over Lithuania.

Aron Baynes contributed 21 points and 13 assists for his first double-double in the competition, while Patty Mills scored 23 off eight-of-16 shooting.

The victory ensured Australia topped Group H ahead of Lithuania, with Nick Nurse's Canada taking third following an 82-60 defeat of Senegal.

Cory Joseph was key to Canada's success, combining 24 points with three assists and two steals.

Dwight Howard said the past does not matter as he looks ahead to his second spell with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers brought back Howard on a nonguaranteed, one-year deal last month after DeMarcus Cousins tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Howard, who spent one rocky season with the team in 2012-13, discussed his decision to return to the Lakers on Wednesday.

"I never had any ill will toward any of the fans here in LA," the 33-year-old said. "I loved this city from the first moment I've been here and started playing in the NBA.

"It was never nothing against anybody here [on] the team or anything like that, it was just a decision I made. I love this city. I love playing in L.A. I'm back here so none of that stuff in the past even really matters to me anymore. I think we all have a fresh start."

Howard came to the Lakers the first time with high expectations. But the team struggled and he clashed with team-mates, leading him to eventually leave and join the Houston Rockets. 

"It's been six years, in 2020 it'll be seven years. ... I'm big on numbers," Howard said. "Seven is for new beginnings ... I'm looking forward to having a fresh start with the fans and stuff like that. Show them my only dedication is to putting another banner up here in Los Angeles."

Howard was a star early in his career with the Orlando Magic but has regressed significantly since then. The eight-time All-Star's path to return to Los Angeles was cleared after he received a buyout from the Memphis Grizzlies, who acquired him in a deal with the Washington Wizards in the offseason.

The Lakers will be the fifth team Howard has suited up for in the last five seasons. 

"We're trying to win a championship," Howard said. "And you know, I think that everybody wants to know what level of commitment that I have, and what everybody else on the team has.

"So, I definitely understand it. I'm very committed to helping this team win a championship. It's not just an interest of mine. It's something that I'm super-committed to. And I'd rather just let my actions speak louder than any words that I can tell you." 

The Lakers rebuilt their roster when they landed Anthony Davis in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to pair with LeBron James. They created cap space to add a third max player but missed out on Kawhi Leonard, who signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Los Angeles then signed Avery Bradley, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Quinn Cook, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and Cousins to deals.

McGee and Howard are the only two healthy centers on the Lakers' roster.​

Eric Gordon has signed a contract extension with the Houston Rockets, the NBA franchise announced on Wednesday.

Gordon's new deal runs through the 2023-24 NBA season, while it is reportedly worth $75.6million.

The 30-year-old was entering the final year of the four-year deal he signed with the Rockets in 2016 and is now locked up for the next five years and will make an estimated $90m.

Gordon – the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 2016-17 – has averaged 16.8 points and 3.2 three-pointers made per game in his three years with the Rockets.

The Rockets are coming off a season where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games of the Western Conference semi-finals, and since then Houston have both changed up their backcourt and cemented it.

Houston traded Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook and have now secured Gordon.

Westbrook, Gordon and 2017-18 MVP James Harden are now all locked up through at least the 2022-23 season, though both Westbrook and Harden have player options that year.

Bogdan Bogdanovic and Serbia impressed once more as one half of the second-round FIBA World Cup draw was confirmed on Wednesday.

Serbia were among a number of sides already through to the next stage but there was no let-up in their performance level as they swept aside Italy in their third Group D match.

There was far more on the line, meanwhile, in matches between China and Venezuela, and Puerto Rico and Tunisia.

The sides were bidding to join Poland, Argentina, Russia and Spain in the second round.
 

BOGDANOVIC BRILLIANT AGAIN

Serbia had already swatted aside the Philippines and Angola to secure their progress, but a tougher test was expected in their final first-round clash with Italy.

However, Bogdanovic's continued outstanding form meant his side again ran out comfortable winners, 92-77 with 31 points from the Sacramento Kings star - a Serbian World Cup record - as well as five assists and five steals.

These superb displays have meant Nikola Jokic has only been required from the bench, scoring 15 on this occasion, while Nemanja Bjelica emerged to contribute nine assists and seven rebounds.

Elsewhere in the pool, an 84-81 overtime victory over the Philippines ensured Angola did not go away empty-handed.
 

VENEZUELA TOO STRONG FOR CHINA

Hosts China saw their chances of reaching the second round ended as they failed to recover from a slow start in a 72-59 defeat to Venezuela.

It was winner takes all for the two sides, but China were outscored 18-10 in the first period and the South American side were able to see out victory with relative ease from there.

Poland finished Group A with a flawless 3-0 record, meanwhile, defeating Ivory Coast 80-63.
 

PUERTO RICO COME THROUGH ANOTHER DRAMATIC FINISH

Puerto Rico's dramatic victory over Iran in their opener saw a ludicrous final minute, with apparent match-winning interventions at either end, and they left it late again against Tunisia.

Needing another win to advance, a dismal third quarter put Puerto Rico three points behind heading into the final period, yet they rallied once again for a 67-64 triumph.

Gary Browne sunk a three-pointer with five seconds remaining and a last-gasp Makram Ben Romdhane air ball saw Tunisia out.

Juan Hernangomez contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds as Spain defeated Iran 73-65 to top Group C.

Luis Scola (13 points, nine rebounds) and Facundo Campazzo (21 points, seven assists, six rebounds) led Argentina past Russia in a 69-61 triumph in Group B, while Nigeria thrashed Korea 108-66 in the same pool.

Gregg Popovich believes the United States' thrilling overtime win against Turkey at the FIBA World Cup showed they were still "not there yet".

USA advanced to the second round from Group E after edging Turkey 93-92 in Shanghai on Tuesday.

The two-time defending champions survived a huge scare, Turkey having chances to go three points up with nine seconds remaining in OT, only for Dogus Balbay and Cedi Osman to miss free-throws.

USA head coach Popovich said the encounter showed the defending champions still had plenty of work to do at the tournament in China.

"It was a heck of a game," he said.

"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."

USA round out their Group E campaign against Japan on Thursday.

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