Walker Logs Best Performance of World Cup Despite USA Loss
Kemba Walker produced his best performance of the FIBA World Cup Thursday, despite Team USA suffering its second straight loss. The Celtics point guard logged personal tournament highs of 18 points and eight assists, as he helped account for more than 40 percent of his squad’s scoring during a 94-89 loss to Serbia in Dongguan, China.
Walker shot 7-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, while also corralling four rebounds, snagging one steal and blocking one shot during 30 minutes of action. It was a strong bounce-back effort for the veteran guard, who was coming off of his most challenging effort of the tournament – a 10-point, assist-less outing against France Wednesday, which ended in an 89-79 defeat.
Fellow C’s teammate Jaylen Brown tallied four points and three rebounds Thursday, while finishing with a plus-8 rating in spite of the five-point defeat. However, team USA missed the presences of the other half of Team Shamrock, as Marcus Smart (left hand) and Jayson Tatum (left ankle) were both sidelined with minor injuries.
Serbia was boosted by a 28-point performance from Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, and also by the presence of Nuggets All-Star big man Nikola Jokic.
Team USA will play its final game of the World Cup Saturday at 4 a.m. EDT against Poland. The winner of that game will finish in seventh place.
One member of the Celtics remains in medal contention, as inbound rookie center Vincent Poirier and Team France, fresh off of an upset win over Team USA, will face Argentina Friday in the semifinals.
Celtics FIBA Stats
Jaylen Brown – USA
Vincent Poirier – France
Marcus Smart – USA
Jayson Tatum – USA
Daniel Theis – Germany
Kemba Walker – USA