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Turner's Double-Double Helps USA Bounce Back vs. Canada

Pacers Center Comes Up Big in Final Exhibition Ahead of 2019 FIBA World Cup
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

After suffering their first loss since 2006 on Saturday, the USA Basketball Men's National Team started a new winning streak on Monday with an 84-68 exhibition win over Canada in Sydney, Australia.

Pacers center Myles Turner played a major part in Monday's victory, tallying 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting, 15 rebounds, and two blocks in the Americans' final tune-up for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, which begins on Saturday in China.

"He's been really consistent for us under the bucket, defensively, rebounding-wise," USA head coach Gregg Popovich said of Turner's play. "He's understands his role really well, and he fits with everybody else."

PHOTO GALLERY: Myles Turner at USA Basketball Training in Australia »

Turner started at center for the third straight exhibition, joined in the opening five on Monday by Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, and Harrison Barnes.

That unit helped the United States get off to a fast start. Turner blocked two shots on one possession early in the contest, then finished an alley-oop from Mitchell to give the USA an 11-2 lead at the 5:05 mark in the opening frame.

Turner checked out of the game shortly thereafter, but returned to open the second quarter. He racked up five rebounds in the first 4:15 of the period, culminating in a putback of a Tatum miss to extend the lead to 28-15.

The Americans led by 15 at halftime and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way. Turner scored again on a putback dunk in the third quarter and added two more dunks in the fourth as the USA cruised to victory.

Turner helped the United States dominate the boards, where they outrebounded Canada 55-37 overall and 17-12 on the offensive glass. Five of Turner's 15 rebounds came on the offensive end.

"Myles is going to be huge for us," USA forward Jaylen Brown said. "Defensively, being our anchor. Offensively, getting those extra put-backs, those extra rebounds. His athleticism is going to make a huge difference in this tournament.

"We are going to need him. We are going to lean on him a lot."

Brown led the Americans with 19 points off the bench on 8-of-11 shooting. Walker added 12 points and five rebounds, while Mitchell chipped in 12 points, three boards, and four assists.

Kyle Wiltjer had a game-high 21 points off the bench for Canada. Khem Birch — the only Canadian player on an NBA roster after most of Canada's highest-profile players elected not to play in the World Cup — added 13 points and six rebounds.

The United States will now travel to Shanghai, where they open World Cup play against the Czech Republic on Sunday at 8:30 AM ET. The USA will also play Turkey and Japan, the other two teams in Group E in preliminary games in China. The top two teams from each group advance to a secondary group stage, which consists of two more games. After that, the top eight remaining teams advance to a single-elimination bracket.

The Americans have won the last two World Cups and five straight major international tournaments dating back to the 2008 Olympics.

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