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Serbia Hands USA Second Straight Loss

Turner Tallies 10 Points, Five Rebounds, Two Blocks
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Heading into the 2019 FIBA World Cup, many experts predicted the United States and Serbia would meet in the championship game. Instead, they met on Thursday in the consolation bracket after unexpected quarterfinal exits.

Serbia got the better of the USA on Thursday in Dongguan, China, racing out to a 25-point lead after one quarter and holding on for a 94-89 victory.

Pacers center Myles Turner had 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, five rebounds, and two blocks in the loss.

PHOTO GALLERY: Myles Turner at 2019 FIBA World Cup »

Turner actually scored the first two points of Thursday's contest off a dish from Kemba Walker, but that was one of only a handful of highlights for the Americans in the first quarter.

Bogdan Bogdanovic caught fire for Serbia, hitting four straight 3-pointers at one point, while the USA couldn't muster any offensive counter on the other end. The result was a lopsided 32-7 score after the opening frame.

But to their credit, the United States battled back in the second quarter. Turner scored seven points on a dunk, a three, and a layup, the latter of which capped a 33-12 quarter for the Americans to trim the margin to just four points heading into halftime.

Serbia maintained the lead throughout the third quarter, but the Americans trailed just 71-68 entering the fourth. But Serbia scored the first seven points of the final frame and eventually stretched their advantage to 13 points.

The United States made one last charge, twice cutting the deficit to four in the final minute, but never again got within one possession of the lead.

Bogdanovic led all scorers with 28 points, going 7-for-14 from 3-point range. Vladimir Lucic added 15 points for Serbia, while NBA All-Star Nikola Jokic chipped in nine points, three rebounds, and seven assists.

Harrison Barnes led the United States with 22 point, five rebounds, and four assists in the loss. Walker added 18 points, four boards, and eight assists, while Khris Middleton finished with 16 points and six rebounds.

The Americans had only 10 available players on Thursday, as Celtics wings Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart have been shut down for the remainder of the tournament. Tatum has not played since injuring his ankle against Turkey in the first round of the tournament, while Smart has battled multiple injuries over the last month and was already held out of a first-round win over Japan for precautionary reasons.

The United States will close out the 2019 FIBA World Cup on Saturday in the seventh place game, where they will face Poland — who lost to the Czech Republic on Thursday — at 4:00 AM ET.

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