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Turner and USA Dominate, But Sabonis and Lithuania Fall

Both Countries Advance to Second Round of 2019 FIBA World Cup
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

The USA Basketball Men's National Team survived a major scare on Tuesday, but they had no such problems on Thursday. Myles Turner and the United States rolled to a 98-45 victory over Japan in Shanghai on the final day of the first round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Turner once again started at center for the USA. The Pacers' fifth-year big man tallied three points, nine rebounds (four offensive), two blocks, and one steal in 18:51.

PHOTO GALLERY: Myles Turner at 2019 FIBA World Cup »

The contest was never in doubt, as the Americans scored the first 13 points, led by 33 at halftime, and by 53 at the end of the third quarter. Jaylen Brown led the United States with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting, seven rebounds, and two steals.

Kemba Walker added 15 points and eight assists, while Harrison Barnes chipped in 14 points and eight boards. Donovan Mitchell (10 points and six assists) and Joe Harris (10 points and five rebounds) also finished in double figures.

The United States won Group E and will advance along with the Czech Republic to the second round of the World Cup. Those two nations will be paired with the top two teams from Group F — Brazil and Greece — in the new Group K. Each team will play two games against the two teams it has not yet played in the second round, with the top two teams after those results moving on to an eight-team bracket that will determine the eventual champions.

Meanwhile in Dongguan, Pacers center Domantas Sabonis and the Lithuanian national team dropped a hard-fought contest to Australia, 87-82.

Sabonis had 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, and one block in the loss. The 23-year-old went 4-for-6 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

PHOTO GALLERY: Domantas Sabonis at 2019 FIBA World Cup »

But Australia prevailed, winning Group H thanks to strong contributions from the likes of Patty Mills (23 points on 8-of-16 shooting) and Aron Baynes (21 points and 13 rebounds).

Despite Thursday's result, both Lithuania and Australia advanced to the second round, where they will join France and the Dominican Republic to form the new Group L.

Both the United States and Lithuania return to action on Saturday, when Lithuania takes on France at 8:00 AM ET in Nanjing and the Americans face reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece at 8:30 AM ET in Shenzhen.

Then on Monday, Lithuania will take on the Dominican Republic at 4:00 AM ET while the United States battles Brazil at 8:30 AM ET.

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