France, Australia into World Cup quarters; US must wait

Sports

Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo tries to block United States’ Donovan Mitchell during phase two of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. United States beat Greece 69-53. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

France and Australia reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup on Saturday. They join Serbia, Spain, Poland and Argentina in the final eight.

The last two quarterfinal spots will be decided Monday when the United States (4-0) faces Brazil (3-1) and Greece (2-2) plays the Czech Republic (3-1). The U.S. is in the driver’s seat and Greece can still advance with a win, a U.S. loss and some help from a tiebreaker.

France (4-0) moved on with a narrow 78-75 victory over Lithuania. Australia (4-0) defeated the Dominican Republic 82-76 to advance.

In the day’s other second-round games, the United States defeated Greece 69-53 and the Czech Republic defeated Brazil 93-71.

FRANCE 78, LITHUANIA 75

At Nanjing, Evan Fournier led France with 24 points and Nando De Colo scored 21. France led after three quarters 65-54 and withstood a closing charge by Lithuania.

Lithuania was led by Jonas Valanciunas with 18 points and eight rebounds. Mantas Kalnietis scored 12.

UNITED STATES 69, GREECE 53

At Shenzhen, Kemba Walker scored 15 points and Donovan Mitchell added 10 on his 23rd birthday for the unbeaten Americans. The U.S. led at the half 38-25 and pulled away slowly as it did for most of the match.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Greece with 15 points, but the reigning NBA MVP was pretty much held in check.

The U.S. can clinch a quarterfinal berth on Monday in several ways – beating Brazil, or if Greece beats the Czech Republic, or through a three-way tiebreaker.

CZECH REPUBLIC 93, BRAZIL 71

At Shenzhen, the Czech Republic kept itself in the hunt for a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals with an easy win over the previously unbeaten South Americans.

Tomas Satoransky scored 20 points, added nine assists and had seven rebounds for the Czechs (3-1), who will play Greece on Monday. Ondrej Balvin scored 15.

“It was another great victory for us,” Satoransky said, with the team playing to its identity by “playing fast, running, sharing the ball and fighting on defense.”

Coach Ronen Ginzburg said “it’s an amazing time for us, for Czech Republic basketball. It’s a great win.”

Vitor Benite scored 12 for Brazil (3-1), which will face the U.S. on Monday in the second-round finale for both teams. Leandro Barbosa and Marcelinho Huertas each scored 11 for Brazil.

AUSTRALIA 82, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 76

At Nanjing, Australia, which had already clinched a place in next year’s Olympics by being the top team in the World Cup out of Oceania, took away the Dominican Republic’s chances of reaching the quarterfinals.

Australia (4-0) was led by Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs with 19 points and nine assists. Chris Goulding added 15 with 13 from Jock Landale. Eloy Vargas led the Dominicans with 16 points and Victor Liz added 14.

TOKYO OLYMPICS

Australia joins Japan as the two qualified teams for Tokyo. Japan is in as the host nation. Six more teams for the 12-team Olympic field will be decided from the World Cup.

3-POINT RECORD

Canada set a FIBA World Cup (and world championship, its predecessor) single-game record for 3-pointers made, hitting 24 of them in its 55-point win over Jordan.

The previous record was 19, accomplished twice, both times by the U.S. in 1994 – first against Puerto Rico, then again against Russia. The second-highest total at this World Cup was 18, done Saturday by New Zealand against Japan.

SATURDAY

CLASSIFICATION ROUND

New Zealand (2-2) 111, Japan (0-4) 81

Canada (2-2) 126, Jordan (0-4) 71

Turkey (2-2) 79, Montenegro (0-4) 74

Germany (2-2) 89 vs. Senegal (0-4) 78

SUNDAY SCHEDULE

SECOND ROUND

Venezuela (2-2) vs. Russia (2-2), Puerto Rico (2-2) vs. Italy (2-2), Poland (4-0) vs. Argentina (4-0), Spain (4-0) vs. Serbia (4-0).

CLASSIFICATION ROUND

Ivory Coast (0-4) vs. South Korea (0-4), Tunisia (2-2) vs. Angola (1-3), China (2-2) vs. Nigeria (2-2), Iran (1-3) vs. Philippines (0-4)

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