Nenad Krstic leads Serbia to win
KAYSERI, Turkey -- Nenad Krstic returned from a three-game suspension for a brawl and had a double-double in Serbia's 94-79 victory over Australia at the basketball world championship on Wednesday.
Krstic scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds, Milos Teodosic added 19 points and Novica Velickovic contributed 18 points and nine rebounds for Serbia, which clinched a place in the single-elimination round.
Krstic missed Serbia's first three games and Teodosic two because of suspensions over their role in a pre-championship brawl in Greece.
Australia pulled within three with 2:07 remaining in the game on Matt Nielsen's 3-pointer, but Teodosic and Velickovic then took over to secure Serbia's victory in Group A.
Teodosic nailed a 3-pointer and made two free throws, Velickovic made 3 of 4 free throws and Nenad Bjelica scored Serbia's last five points.
Brad Newley had 13 points for Australia and Patty Mills added 12.
"Our first objective was to stop their transition game and not give them easy baskets," Serbia coach Dusan Ivkovic said. "The second objective was to stop their inside game. We were partially successful in the first objective and completely successful in the second."
Serbia made 14 of 35 3-point attempts and went 16-for-31 from the 2-point range.
"We were back at full roster and that was a big help. We have a lot of respect for Australia," backup center Kosta Perovic said.
Slovenia 80, Brazil 77Jaka Lakovic scored 20 points, hitting consecutive 3-pointers to halt a furious Brazil comeback, and Slovenia blew nearly all of a 17-point lead before holding on for an three-point victory. Slovenia (3-1) took sole possession of second place in Group B, while Brazil (2-2) came up just short again after losing by two to the United States on Monday. Brazil forward Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers played for the first time after missing the first three games of the world championship while recovering from a sprained ankle. He had four points and four rebounds in 23 minutes. Primoz Brezec hit his first seven shots and scored 16 points to help the Slovenians take a 14-point halftime lead. A 3-pointer to open the second half made it a 17-point game, but Brazil began chipping away and pulled within 70-68 on Tiago Splitter's basket with 4:25 remaining. Lakovic hit a 3 with 3:32 remaining, then nailed another about a minute later to make it 76-68. Brazil got back within five in the final minute, but Bostjan Nachbar hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 21 seconds to play to help the Slovenians pull it out. Nachbar finished with 15 points and Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns had 10 for Slovenia, which shot 57 percent from the field. Marcelo Machado scored 20 points and Splitter added 19 for Brazil. Leandro Barbosa shot just 6 of 18 and had 12.
Angola 92, Germany 88Olimpio Cipriano scored 30 points as Angola rallied from a 10-point deficit late in the game to stun Germany in overtime. The result means Angola (2-2) advances to the second round, while Germany (1-3) was eliminated. Joaquim Gomes added 16 points for Angola and Miguel Lutonda had 13. Jan Jagla led Germany with 23.
Turkey 79, Puerto Rico 77Host Turkey maintained its perfect record at the basketball world championship by edging Puerto Rico. Hidayet Turkoglu of Phoenix Suns led Turkey (4-0) with 16 points and Ersan Ilyasova of the Milwaukee Bucks had double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds as the host team pulled away in the last quarter. Puerto Rico (1-3), which needed a win to guarantee a spot in the second round, squandered the early lead against Turkey. Angel Vassalo scored a game-high 19 points for Puerto Rico, which faces Ivory Coast on Thursday. Teammate Peter Ramos had double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Spain 91, Lebanon 57Marc Gasol led defending champion Spain into the second round, scoring 25 points in a rout of Lebanon in Group D. Spain (2-2) has struggled at worlds but built a 10-point lead in the second quarter and was never threatened the rest of the way. It was Lebanon's third loss, eliminating it from the knockout round. France, Lithuania and New Zealand will join Spain in the next round. Fran Vasquez added 15 points to help Spain outscore Lebanon 32-6 in the paint during the second and third quarters. Jackson Vroman led Lebanon with 22 points.
Russia 89, China 80Sergey Monya scored 17 points and Sasha Kaun added 16 to lead Russia to a 89-80 win over China. Russia advanced Wednesday to the second round with seven points in Group C. For China, it was the team's second loss in a row after falling to Puerto Rico on Tuesday. The Chinese stayed with Russia, tying the game at 73-73 with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But Russia went on a 14-3 run and Kaun's basket made it 87-75 with 1:53 left. China guard Sun Yue scored 19 points for China and Wang Shipeng added 16.
Argentina 88, Jordan 79Top-ranked Argentina won its fourth straight game by defeating winless Jordan. Luis Scola scored 30 points, his third straight game with 30 or more, and had 13 rebounds. Carlos Delfino added 18 points. Rasheim Wright had 22 for Jordan and Ayman Idais scored 20. Argentina never trailed, led by as many as 20 and did just enough to hold off Jordan in the fourth quarter. Argentina plays Serbia on Thursday for first place in Group A.
Lithuania 69, France 55Jonas Maciulis had 19 points and Linas Kleiza added 15 points as Lithuania beat France to clinch top spot in Group. Lithuania (4-0) handed France (3-1) its first defeat. Down 30-24 at halftime, Lithuania took a 35-32 lead three minutes into the third on Martynus Pocius' 3-point shot. It built its lead as France missed eight of 13 field goal attempts and three of four free-throw attempts in the quarter. Nicolas Batum led France with 13 points. After playing Lebanon on Thursday, Lithuania will face the fourth seed of Group C -- likely Greece, Russia, China or Puerto Rico -- in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Croatia 84, Tunisia 64Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points as Croatia defeated winless Tunisia. Marko Popovic added 16 points and Ante Tomic 15 for Croatia, which ran off the first 10 points of the game on Wednesday. Croatia led by as much as 25 points and used its height advantage to shoot 56 percent, scoring 48 points in the paint. Macram Ben Romdhane scored 23 points for Tunisia, which faces the United States on Thursday to close pool play.
New Zealand 71, Canada 61Kirk Penney scored 18 points to help New Zealand eliminate Canada. Jevohn Shepherd led Canada with 15 points Wednesday in its fourth straight loss. Canada plays Spain in its last Group D game on Thursday, but is guaranteed to finish in the bottom two and miss the knockout round. Both teams struggled in a scrappy first quarter, with New Zealand (2-2) taking an 11-8 lead despite committing five turnovers in the first five minutes. Canada's Andy Rautins of the New York Knicks returned to New York to have a bruised knee examined to make sure he's ready for the NBA team's upcoming training camp. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE OLYMPIC BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Durant, USA pull away from Spain to win gold
- Clippers' Paul has successful surgery on thumb
- Schmitt back to school after Olympic stardom
- Olympian Raisman, Poland Spring sign deal