By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
SHENZHEN – In front of a hostile crowd and after a close first half which also included the ejection of Brazil’s coach Aco Petrovic, USA got the 89-73 win and remained perfect in the FIBA World Cup, finishing on top of Group K standings.
After this result, the Czech Republic got second place in the standings in the three-way tie with Brazil and Greece thanks to point difference.
After a Marcus Smart three at the buzzer, the USA closed the third period leading by 11 points (67-56). Smart left the game injured one minute later after spraining his ankle, but nothing changed. USA’s lead went up to 21 points (83-62) and there was no coming back.
Brazil managed to stay close in the first half, trailing by four (43-39) behind 15 points by Vitor Benite who finished the game with 21. Still, they couldn’t do much more.
“Brazil’s execution was great in the first half, but we stepped up with our defense in the second”, coach Gregg Popovich said in the press conference. Pop was also asked about the fact that Jaylen Brown is getting minutes on the power forward position. “He is a strong player and he can do that on both sides of the floor”, Pop said about his swingman.
It should also be noted that Brazil refused to attend the press conference after the match.
Myles Turner and Kemba Walker with 16 points each led the charge for the US team which in total had seven players scoring at least eight points.
Photo credit: FIBA.Basketball