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31 August
15 September, 2019
15 Kemba Walker (USA)
07/09/2019
Game Report
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USA rise above Greece to book fourth win

SHENZHEN (China) - Team USA would not be denied their fourth straight win at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 after beating Greece, 69-53, in a low-scoring Second Round encounter at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center.

Greek superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo put up big numbers in this game, but it was the stifling defense of coach Gregg Popovich's squad that ultimately proved to be the difference. The Greeks were held to their lowest scoring output of the World Cup so far, and their prospects of advancing to the Quarter-Finals suffered because of it.

Team USA had six players score 8 points or more, led by Kemba Walker's 15 points, while Antetokounmpo paced Hellas with a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double and Kostas Sloukas added 13 points. 


Turning Point:
It was a tight game to start, with Team USA leading by just 2 points after the first 10 minutes, but the Americans outscored the Greeks 35-19 in the middle two periods to break the game open. Coach Thanasis Skourtopoulos's team would be able to trim the deficit to as low as 11 in the final quarter, but they were never able to mount a big enough run to seriously threaten the still unbeaten Americans.

TCL Player of the Game: Kemba Walker was his old reliable self in this one, and though he didn't shoot the particularly well, he still found other ways to make a positive impact on Team USA. Aside from scoring 15 points, the 29-year-old also tallied 6 assists and 4 rebounds in the big win.

Stats Don't Lie: This was a defense-oriented game through and through, with both teams shooting 36 percent or lower from the field. Rebounding was an aspect that the Americans dominated, though, grabbing 50 boards to Greece's 40. The Greeks also gave up too many free-throws as Team USA shot 14-of-16 from the line, while Hellas were 4-of-10.

Bottom Line: Team USA secured their fourth win of the World Cup but will have to wait until the final game day of the Second Round to confirm their berth. The undefeated Americans will be playing for the top spot in K on Monday, while Greece will fight to stay alive when they collide with highly motivated Czech Republic.


They Said: 
"We played a very experienced team. They are really well-coached, one that is both physical and executes very well. It was a good test for us, and it helped us get better." - USA head coach Gregg Popovich

"It was a very competitive game. Greece is a very good team, and we have much respect for those guys. We played well, had a great gameplan, stuck to it and came out with the win." - USA guard Kemba Walker

"It was a tough game. We congratulate the US team. They have too much intensity for 40 minutes. We tried to stop them with zone and matchup defense, but they are just too much. We missed a lot even with free-throws, too, so it's very difficult to beat a team like the US when we play like this." - Greece head coach Thanasis Skourtopoulos

"I think we tried to play our game, but we let them play their playing style. We let them have easy shots, and we lost offensive rebounds to them." - Greece center Georgios Papagiannis

FIBA