Kemba Walker, USA Beat Brazil to Advance to 2019 FIBA World Cup Quarterfinals

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2019

SHENZHEN, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 9: Kemba Walker #15 and Donovan Mitchell #5 of the USA Basketball Men's National Team chats against Team Brazil during the 2019 FIBA World Cup Classification Round at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center on September 9, 2019 in Shenzhen, China.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Its FIBA World Cup tournament hasn't always been the prettiest, but Team USA will advance to the quarterfinals.

Kemba Walker and Myles Turner each scored 16 points, leading the United States to a 89-73 win over Brazil in their final Group K game in China.

The result eliminated Brazil from the tournament and allowed the Czech Republic to advance to the final eight. Greece, Czech Republic and Brazil each finished with matching 3-2 records, but the Czechs advanced on the back of their plus-22 point differential.

The United States will play France in Wednesday's quarterfinals. The French were undefeated until a last-minute loss to Australia on Monday and the Aussies defeated the United States in exhibition play, so the U.S. will go into the 7 a.m. ET game (7 p.m. local) in real danger of being upset. 

Team USA's victory also clinched a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics, qualifying alongside Argentina as the two representatives from the Americas.

The Americans went into halftime ahead by only four points over Brazil, which got a game-high 21 points from Vitor Benite. Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao each added 14 points, but the Brazilians faded in the second half as fatigue set in on both ends of the floor.

The United States scored on 10 straight possessions at the end of the third quarter into the fourth, which extended its lead from seven points to 21. Jaylen Brown added 11 points and Harrison Barnes had 10 to round out double-digit scorers for the U.S.

Despite looking less than stellar in comparison to its predecessors, this Team USA outfit appears to be the favorite heading into the quarters. Only Serbia, which is coming off a 12-point loss to Spain, has outscored its opponents by more points. The U.S. would face either Argentina or Serbia in the semis. The Spain-Australia half of the bracket appears to be a little more forgiving, as Poland and the Czech Republic are probably out of their depth in the quarters.

Shooting remains a concern for Gregg Popovich's team, which made only eight of their 25 shots from distance.


Former Knick and Trail Blazer turned Boston Celtic, Enes Kanter, joins The Full 48 with Howard Beck to discuss the Portland Trail Blazers post-season run, Damian Lillard, his true feelings about the New York Knicks, joining the Boston Celtics, Kemba Walker, the importance of political activism, and being a good locker room guy!

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