DAY 3: USA SURVIVE BRAZIL SCARE

The third day of the FIBA World Championships saw Team USA survive an astonishing scrap with Brazil to emerge with their unbeaten start intact.

However the Americans, who trailed at the break, were made to sweat until the very end when Leandro Barbosa’s shot rattled out at the buzzer.

Barbosa missed a chance to win it (FIBA)

The contest was a tale of two different halves.  Over the first two quarters the two teams combined to score 89 points with Brazil heading to their locker room at intermission with a 46-43 lead.

The defences clamped down in the second half and the two teams managed to score 49 points combined, and only after the U.S. outscored Brazil 27-22 in the last two quarters did the Americans post the 70-68 win.

“We only allowed 22 points in the second and when you’re offense isn’t going very well, to still play great defence shows that you have character.  I said (to the team) that I thought they had the character to win because it was not easy to win tonight.  They had to do it doing tough things,” said Mike Krzyzewski, the USA head coach.

“It was not (a game) – especially in the second half – where points came easy.  Both teams still played with great heart.  I think it showed the character of each team.  When that happens, to me, a team can show its character in a bad way or a good way.  I thought both teams showed it in a good way. I found out something about my team tonight.”

Elsewhere, Dusko Savanovic and Marko Keselj scored 21 points each to help Serbia rebound from a double-overtime loss to beat Jordan 112-69.

Luis Scola  scored 17 of his 32 points in the first quarter as Argentina beat Angola 91-70 to wrap up a place in the second round.
Uros Slokar and Jaka Lakovic scored 15 points each to help Slovenia beat Croatia 91-84 in Istanbul.  Asian champions Iran got their first-ever World Championship win, defeating Tunisia 71-58, powered by Hamed Haddadi of the Memphis Grizzlies who had 23 points and 13 rebounds

One day after upsetting Serbia in double overtime, Germany were thrashed 78-43 by Australia.

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