In a match in which it was demonstrated why both teams – starting the big favorites – have gotten out of the competition, the Serbs, despite their serious gaps in defense, were superior at all times to the Americans, very unequal in their game .
Both disputed the positions between the fifth and eighth of the competition but could well have been in the final because of the desire that seemed to show to clarify who was superior.
The first quarter was a memorable review of the Balkans who, commanded by a Bogdanovic in a state of grace, established a partial 32-7, no less than 25 points ahead in ten minutes.
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His triples – along with those of Micic, Iovic or Bjelica – fell like ripe apples in the basket of the American team, who was stunned to what the score was scoring.
All the baskets that did not enter Serbia against Spain from 6.75 meters did so today in these first minutes, while the Popovich pupils saw their balls stamped one after the other against the hoop, when not falling directly outside.
That the still current world champion got only 7 points in ten minutes gave an idea of his poor image and foreshadowed a humiliation of colossal proportions.
However, in the second half the Serbs squandered the great advantage they had obtained with unforgivable defense oversights, which this time did take advantage of the now inspired Kemba Walker and Barnes to turn the score almost around.
Walker became the engine of the American comeback, recovering rebounds in defense incessantly, distributing assists and flying triple accurate to the Serbian network.
All this allowed them to go to rest only 4 points on the scoreboard (44-40).
Serbia returned, however, to take the reins after the break and moved away up to fifteen points, although a few minutes later he showed his defensive sinks, which took advantage of those of Popovich to get only three goals at the end of the third half.
The irregularity on both sides remained the tonic of the game until the end and, despite being at close range, the United States never got ahead and rarely gave the impression of being able to win the game.
A triple of Walker when it was less than a minute to go and that reduced the difference to four points triggered the nervousness among the Serbs, but it was too late and lacked talent to take advantage of the opportunity.
– Data sheet:
94 – Serbia (32 + 12 + 27 + 23): Bogdan Bogdanovic (28), Nikola Jokic (9), Stefan Jovic (9), Vladimir Lucic (15), Nikola Milutinov (7), Nemanja Bjelica (8), Vladimir Lucic (15), Boban Marjanovic (8), Vasilije Micic (10), Nikola Milutinov (7) and Marko Simonovic (-).
89 – United States (7 + 33 + 28 + 21): Harrison Barnes (22), Joe Harris (4), Donovan Mitchell (9), Myles Turner (10), Kemba Walker (18), Jaylen Brown (4), Brook Lopez (2), Khris Middleton (16), Mason Plumlee (2), Derrick White (2).
Referees: Maranho Cristiano (Brazil), Yu Jung (China), Luis Castillo (Spain). Without eliminated.
Incidents: Match for positions 5 to 8 of the Basketball World Cup played at the Dongguan Basketball Center. With capacity for 15,000 spectators.