2019 FIBA World Cup: USA Survives a Scare Against Turkey


Trailing 92-91 with nine seconds left, Joe Harris committed an unsportsmanlike foul to give the Turks two free throws and possession, reminding everyone watching at home that FIBA rules are entirely different and all but assuring the U.S. of defeat.

Except, Dogus Balbay and Cedi Osman missed four straight free throws, giving Team USA one final shot at victory. Jayson Tatum grabbed the fourth miss, dribbled the length of the floor and dished to Khris Middleton, who drew a foul and made both free throws. Even then, Turkey had another shot at glory, but Ersan Ilyasova’s 3-pointer sailed wide, and the Americans escaped with a 93-92 first-round victory.

The U.S., which also beat the Czech Republic on Sunday, secured a spot in the second round with the win. The Americans are 2-0 and own tiebreakers against both the Turks and Czechs, who are are each 1-1. The U.S. wraps up first-round play at 8:30 a.m. EST against Japan on Thursday. Team Japan is currently 0-2.

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