Australia showed it can do damage by ending the Americans’ 78-game winning streak in a warm-up game just over a week ago.
On Tuesday in Group H, the Boomers defeated Senegal 81-68 in Dongguan in the far south of China to improve to 2-0 and qualify for the second round. Senegal is 0-2.
Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs led Australia with 22 points, but Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz was the game’s top player with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Ingles was one assist away from a triple-double, which a FIBA official told him would have been a first in the World Cup.
“I didn’t know that, but even though I do know it now it still doesn’t bother me,” he said. “The only goal today was to win the game and that’s all our focus.”
It was not that easy despite Ingles’ big numbers.
Australia led 36-33 at the half and struggled with the tall African team. Senegal has nine players at least 2.02 meters (6-foot-8) or taller. And four at 2.08 (6-10) or taller.
“That could be the tallest overall team that we’ve played against in my time as coach,” Australia coach Andrej Lemanis said.
Added Ingles: “That first half, they kind of had us on our back foot a little bit. We had to come in at halftime and address a few things.”
Xane Dalmeida led Senegal with 14 points in a game the Africans kept surprisingly close.
LITHUANIA 92, CANADA 69
At Dongguan, Lithuania booked its place in the second round. The victory also assured Australia of advancing from Group H.
Lithuania, which is 2-0, had six players in double figures, topped by Edgaras Ulanovas and Jonas Valanciunas with 13 each. Kyle Wiltjer led Canada with 24. Canada fell to 0-2.
NEW ZEALAND 93, MONTENEGRO 83
At Nanjing, New Zealand downed Montenegro to move to 1-1 in Group F. Montenegro is 0-2.
Corey Webster led the Kiwis with 25 points and teammate Isaac Fotu added 20. Nikola Ivanovic had 18 to lead Montenegro, and Nikola Vucevic added 15.
BRAZIL 79, GREECE 78
At Nanjing, Brazil improved to 2-0 and moved closer to the second round. Greece fell to 1-1 in Group F and will need a win in its final group game with New Zealand.
Anderson Varejao hit a critical jumper for Brazil with 14 seconds left and Leandrinho Barbosa hit a final free throw for the three-point edge.
Kostas Sloukas had three free throws with two seconds left that would have tied the score, but he made only two.
Varejao led Brazil with 22 points, while Georgios Printezis led Greece with 20.
UNITED STATES 93, TURKEY 92 OT
At Shanghai, the Americans (2-0) scraped by, and they needed overtime to do it in Group E. The victory moved them into the second round. They face winless Japan in the final group game.
Khris Middleton led the Americans with 15 points and Kemba Walker added 14. Ersan Ilyasova of the Milwaukee Bucks had 23 points and 15 rebounds for Turkey (1-1).
CZECH REPUBLIC 89, JAPAN 76
At Shanghai, Blake Schilb and Jaromira Bohacik each scored 22 points and the Czech Republic kept Japan winless in Group E.
Tomas Satoransky had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Czechs (1-1).
Rui Hachimura led Japan (0-2) with 21 points, while Nick Fazekas had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 70, GERMANY 68
At Shenzhen, the Dominican Republic improved to 2-0 and Germany fell to 0-2 in Group G.
Victor Liz led the Dominicans with 17 points and Eloy Vargas added 16 as the Caribbean team advanced to the second round. Dennis Schroder was Germany’s top scorer with 20, and Daniel Theis added 12.
FRANCE 103, JORDAN 64
At Shenzhen, France moved into the second round from Group G along with the Dominican Republic.
France (2-0) had five players in double figures, led by Nando De Colo with 19. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz added 16. Dar Tucker led Jordan (0-2) with 20 points.
WIN OR ELSE
There are a pair of games on Wednesday that are essentially playoff matchups.
The China-Venezuela game is for a spot in the second round, as is the Puerto Rico-Tunisia game. Winners of those contests will move on, while the losers will be relegated to the classification round for the remainder of the tournament and unable to finish higher than 17th overall in the 32-team field.
Another pair of Wednesday games will decide seeds. The Argentina-Russia winner will be the top seed coming out of Group B, with the loser seeded No. 2. Same goes for the Italy-Serbia game, which will decide the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds out of Group D.
Group A: Ivory Coast (0-2) vs. Poland (2-0); Venezuela (1-1) vs. China (1-1).
Group B: South Korea (0-2) vs. Nigeria (0-2); Russia (2-0) vs. Argentina (2-0).
Group C: Puerto Rico (1-1) vs. Tunisia (1-1); Spain (2-0) vs. Iran (0-2).
Group D: Angola (0-2) vs. Philippines (0-2); Italy (2-0) vs. Serbia (2-0).
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