Brazil topped Serbia, 81-73, in group play of the FIBA World Cup.
The game was one of extreme contrasts for both teams. Brazil had a 48-32 lead at half and looked as if it might run away with this one. However, Serbia had a huge third quarter, outscoring Brazil 32-12 and held a four-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
But Serbia cooled off in the fourth quarter just as fast as it heated up in the third quarter. The Serbians only manged nine points in the final frame and were outscored 21-9.
For Brazil, it was a huge game by Marquinhos Vieira that made the difference. The forward scored a game-high 21 points, including 6-of-9 shooting from downtown. He also chipped in five rebounds.
Tiago Splitter also had a big game for Brazil. The center scored 10 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out a game-high six assists.
Serbia was led by Milos Teodosic. The point guard finished with 14 points, five rebounds and two assists in the losing effort. Stefan Markovic added 10 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Miroslav Raduljica tallied 11 points and five rebounds.
With the win, Brazil is now atop the Group A standings by virtue of total points. However, Spain is undefeated and taking on France later today. The winner of that matchup will determine the standings in Group A, although Brazil figures to move on regardless of the outcome in that one.
Serbia next takes on Spain on Sept. 3. Brazil also returns to the court on Sept. 3, with its matchup coming against Egypt.