Walker Kessler, Team USA Find Form Against Greece At World Cup
Aug 28, 2023, 2:17 PM | Updated: 5:52 pm
(Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY – Walker Kessler and Team USA rounded into form with a 109-81 victory over Greece in the FIBA World Cup.
Kessler scored four points, grabbed one rebound, and blocked two shots after goring scoreless in Team USA’s opening game against New Zealand.
Team USA was led by Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves who scored 15 points while Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards and New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson added 13 each.
— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 🏆 (@FIBAWC) August 28, 2023
Team USA Advances With Win Over Greece
Though one game remains in group play for Team USA, the roster has already guaranteed itself a spot in the round of 16.
The star-studded lineup will face Jordan on Wednesday who is currently 0-2 in the FIBA World Cup and sits in last place in Group C.
In addition to Team USA, Lithuania, Montenegro, Germany, Spain, Canada, and Latvia have all punched their tickets to the second round.
Four More Jazz Players Will Take Floor Tuesday
After falling to Australia on Friday morning, Lauri Markkanen and Finland were officially eliminated from the World Cup after a surprising 98-88 loss to Japan.
The victory marked Japan’s first-ever win over a European team in FIBA play, dropping Finland to 0-2 in the group stage.
— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 🏆 (@FIBAWC) August 27, 2023
Markkanen had an impressive 27 points and 12 rebounds, but Japan erased an 18 point second half deficit to stun Finland.
The All-Star forward will conclude his FIBA tournament on Tuesday against Germany at 1:30 a.m. MST on ESPN+.
Clarkson, Philippines On Brink Of Elimination
Clarkson and the Filipino national team also opened group play with consecutive losses, dropping to 0-2 after an 80-70 loss to Angola.
The Jazz guard had 21 points and seven assists but shot just 1-8 from the three-point line in the loss.
Clarkson and the Philippines will face Italy on Tuesday at 6:00 a.m. MST on ESPN+ needing a win to keep their hopes of advancing beyond group play alive.
Olynyk, Canada Crush Lebanon
After blowing out France to open group play on Friday, the Canadians once again showed their dominance in a 128-73 win over Lebanon.
Olynyk had a well-rounded 12 point, eight rebound, five assist performance in the victory in only 18 minutes on the floor.
Such a weapon for Canada when your big man can make plays and passes like this
Kelly Olynyk with a beautiful pass to RJ in transition pic.twitter.com/fxqhcNiudD
— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) August 27, 2023
Canada has guaranteed it will advance beyond group play, even before facing Latvia on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. MST on ESPN+.
Fontecchio, Italy Fall To Dominican Republic
Simone Fontecchio scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds, but shot just 1-8 from three as Italy fell to the Dominican Republic 87-82.
The Italians will look to advance past group play when they face Clarkson and the Philippines on Tuesday.
The game will tip off at 6:00 a.m. MST on ESPN+.
Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.
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