Czech Republic eliminates Greece; gets close to historic qualification

Czech Republic eliminates Greece; gets close to historic qualification

The Czech team have advanced to the FIBA World Cup basketball quarterfinals for the first time despite their 77 - 84 loss to Greece on Monday.

Australia beat France 100-98 in another match on Monday, a victory that left them top of Group L with France advancing in second place.

Spain and Poland face off in the other side of the bracket, with the victor set to play the victor of Australia and the Czech Republic. Kostas Sloukas of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul added 16 and the Antetokounmpo brothers, Giannis and Thanasis, posted 12 and 11, respectively. The Greeks did lead by that much early in the final quarter, but could not hold the margin. Giannis did not attend the final news conference.

Also with the win, the US has officially qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"I thought Brazil really gave us a tough fight in that first half. Four, three, two, whatever coach needs me to do, I will make the adjustment", Brown said, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst. "That's the thing. When you've got a team like that, it's not insane for us".

Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky again flirted with a triple-double as he finished with 13 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in the game while forward Jaromir Bohacik led the Czech scoring efforts with 25 points (on 8-15 shooting).

The United States' win over Greece on Saturday came with execution of the defensive game plan, but also with a heavy dose of small-ball.

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In Shenzhen, the United States led only 43-39 at the half, but then pulled away from Brazil (3-2).

Monday's victory secured U.S. top spot in Group K, though they only had a narrow half-time lead - 43-39 - behind 10 points apiece from Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker and Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner.

Their top performer Giannis Antetokounmpo, last season's most valuable player in the National Basketball Association, fouled out shortly afterwards and the Czechs managed to slash the deficit thanks to some lethal long-range shooting.

Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs scored 30 points to lead Australia, Joe Ingles had 23 and Aron Baynes added 21.

Lithuania (3-2) was led by Jonas Valanciunas and Lukas Lekavicius, each with 19 points.

Marcus Smart's buzzer-beating, hand-in-his-face 3-pointer to beat the third quarter horn put the USA up 11, and a 15-6 run to start the fourth - mostly by getting to the rim, including back-to-back scores by Barnes, and capped by a 3-pointer from Walker - put the game away and gave the Americans an 83-62 lead with 5:50 left.

Vitor Benite scored 21 for Brazil; Varejao and Leandrinho Barbosa each scored 14. Evan Fournier scored 31 for France.