FIBA World Cup 2019: USA hold off Giannis' Greece to reach quarter-finals

By Sports Desk September 07, 2019

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.

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