USA Suffer Loss Again, Spain Beat Australia 95-88 in to Reach FIBA World Cup Final
News ID: 70381
Date: 13 September 2019 - 22:01
DONGGUAN (Xinhua) -- Defending champions team USA finally confronted their biggest threat Serbia at FIBA Basketball World Cup on Thursday, only in the classification round 5-8, and they were beaten 89-94.
The Dream Team swallowed a second straight loss losing to France in Wednesday's quarterfinals, which means they will finish their World Cup seventh or eighth, a worst record in its World Cup (Championships) history. The previous worst result for them was sixth at the 2002 World Championships.
Serbia started the match as a lopsided affair and turned it into a down-to-the-wire win.
They led 91-81 with two minutes on the clock in the last quarter before Barnes hit a three from the corner to give hope to the U.S. as Walker added another three. The Americans were only four points down at 91-87 with one minute to go but could not survive with a foul strategy.
The Serbians shot the lights out in the first quarter, connecting eight times from beyond the arc for a 32-7 lead. The Americans found their groove, though, dominated the second quarter and trailed by just four points at the half.
Sharpshooter Bogdan Bogdanovic of Serbia made seven three-pointers to score a game-high 28 points plus six assists. Harrison Barnes posted 22 points and Kemba Walker added 18 for the USA.
No one on Spain's basketball team is looking past Sunday's World Cup final.
Certainly not Marc Gasol, who scored 33 points to lead the Spanish over Australia 95-88 in double overtime on Friday in the semifinals. Ricky Rubio scored 19 points and Sergio Llull added 17.
Gasol won the NBA title a few months ago with the Toronto Raptors. And now he can do the double by winning with Spain, which won this title 13 years ago when it was called the world championship.
What would gold mean?
''Let's talk about it Sunday,'' replied Gasol, who played on the 2006 team with his brother Pau and current team member Rudy Fernandez. ''Let's see how it goes. I don't want to lose a second thinking of what would be, what it would mean for us.''
He said his attention is on detail and preparing. Not celebrating. Not yet.
''Whenever the game is over, life will go on either way,'' he said.
It was two 3-point shots by Llull in the second overtime that pushed Spain to one of its largest leads of the game after trailing much of the time.
Patty Mills scored 34 to lead Australia.
Australia will try again for a bronze medal in a major men's basketball championship. The Boomers are 0-4 in third-place games in the Olympics - including three years ago in Rio de Janeiro - and had never reached the semifinals of the World Cup.
''The experience that we had in Rio - what it felt like to finish fourth. I have the confidence that this group will be able to be well and truly refocus,'' Australia coach Andrej Lemanis said.
Spain trailed for much of the game but surged in the fourth quarter and took the lead 71-70 when Gasol hit two free throws with 8.7 seconds to play in regulation.
Mills had two free throws to win the game with 4.8 seconds to play, but he missed the second after making the first to send the game into overtime at 71-71.
Both teams had chances to win in regulation and in the first overtime, which ended 80-80.
Czech Republic beat Poland 94-84 also in the tournament's classification game. A dunk made by Pavel Pumprla help Czechs expand the lead to 6 within the last one minute and never looked back.
Tomas Satoransky had a double-double with 22 points and 12 assists. Vojtech Hruban scored a team-high 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Adam Waczynski scored 22 points for Poland.
Serbia will play for fifth place, facing Czech Republic, and Team USA will play Poland for seventh place this Saturday.
*****Donovan Mitchell (front) of the United States competes during the classification games 5-8 between the United States and Serbia at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Dongguan, south China's Guangdong Province, Sept. 12, 2019.