The second round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup opened for the remainder of the field Saturday across China, with the United States and Greece headlining the eight-game slate.
The buildup to the World Cup couldn't have gone much worse for Team USA, with a number of stars either backing out at the last minute or declining invitations altogether. The U.S. was looking for a victory to move on from that earlier drama.
France, the No. 3 team in FIBA's official rankings, was also in action, taking on Lithuania in an eagerly anticipated matchup.
Here are the full scores from Saturday and some of the day's biggest moments.
Czech Republic def. Brazil, 93-71
United States def. Greece, 69-53
Australia def. Dominican Republic, 82-76
France def. Lithuania, 78-75
Czech Republic 93, Brazil 71
Hot shooting propelled the Czech Republic to a comfortable victory over Brazil in Group K.
The Czechs shot 56.2 percent from the field and were 8-of-20 on three-pointers. That helped them build a healthy 45-32 lead at halftime, and there was no looking back from there.
Brazil had little answer inside for Ondrej Balvin. The Czech center had 15 points and missed only two of his nine shots. He also collected 11 rebounds and blocked one shot. Anderson Varejao, by comparison, had two points and five rebounds in a little over 20 minutes on the floor for Brazil.
Tomas Satoransky was the standout performer. The Chicago Bulls guard had a game-high 20 points and added nine assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
Basketball World Cup @FIBAWC
@basquetebrasil @HellenicBF @ceskybasketbal @usabasketball @satoransky @KembaWalker @Giannis_An34 @VAREJAOANDERSON @Bruno_Caboclo @OBalvin 20PTS I 7REB I 9AST I 3STL I 35EFF 🇨🇿 @Satoransky was UNREAL vs 🇧🇷, fueling @CeskyBasketbal to their 3W in #FIBAWC! #CzechRepublicGotGame 📖 https://t.co/qee22jLSCi https://t.co/H8HS8NwGph
United States 69, Greece 53
Giannis Antetokounmpo might be the reigning NBA MVP, but Saturday's 69-53 defeat to the United States showed the limitations to Greece's one-man show in the World Cup.
Antetokounmpo stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two steals. He also shot 7-of-11 from the field.
His supporting cast, however, shot 25.4 percent, and Kostas Sloukas (13 points) was the only other player to score in double figures.
Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer played to Giannis' strengths so well by surrounding him with as many shooters as possible last season. Greece, which was 7-of-27 from beyond the arc, was unable to create the same kind of freedom for Antetokounmpo inside.
The United States boasted impressive offensive balance, with Mason Plumlee the only U.S. player who didn't score. Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell had 15 and 10 points apiece. Joe Harris and Jaylen Brown combined for only 11 points but excelled on the glass. Harris had eight rebounds, and Brown finished with nine.
The United States and Greece briefly had a tense moment after the game, sparked by Thanasis Antetokounmpo's foul on Harrison Barnes with 1:43 left in the fourth quarter. Cooler heads quickly prevailed.
Australia 82, Dominican Republic 76
Patty Mills carried Australia to a win over the Dominican Republic.
Mills narrowly missed out on a double-double, scoring 19 points and dishing out nine assists. The San Antonio Spurs guard played 30 minutes, and the Boomers had a plus-21 net rating during that time. Matthew Dellavedova was the next-highest Australian in plus-minus (plus-five).
Chris Goulding (15 points) and Jock Landale (13 points) were pivotal for Australia as well.
Three-point shooting doomed the Dominican Republic. The Dominicans were 3-of-14 on long-range jumpers, which allowed Australia to own an 18-point advantage in three-pointers.
France 78, Lithuania 75
France and Lithuania lived up to the billing as they went right down to the wire.
Lithuania came away from the game feeling aggrieved after the referees missed what appeared to be an obvious goaltending call on Rudy Gobert with 30 seconds remaining.
Jonas Valanciunas hit the first of two free throws to bring Lithuania to within one point of France. His second free throw was bouncing around on the rim when Gobert swatted it away. Although the rules regarding basket interference are a little more relaxed in FIBA, the Utah Jazz center made contact with the rim.
If the referees had whistled Gobert for the infraction, Lithuania would've been awarded two points and taken a 77-76 lead as a result. Instead, the score remained 76-75 in favor of France.
Nando De Colo scored to make it a three-point game, and Jonas Maciulis missed a game-tying attempt from beyond the arc in the final seconds.
According to Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas, the team filed a formal protest with FIBA over the missed goaltending call. Lithuania was eliminated by virtue of the defeat, with France and Australia moving on to the quarterfinals from Group L.
The controversy overshadowed excellent showings from De Colo and Evan Fournier. De Colo came off the bench to score 21 points, while Fournier had a game-high 24 points.