San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich, Spurs guard Derrick White, and Team USA narrowly escaped with a 93-92 overtime victory over Turkey Tuesday to earn a second-round trip at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Before that Tuesday, Spurs guard Patty Mills and Australia used a push in the third quarter to get separation from Senegal and also earn a round two bid.
White, Popovich advance to second round with overtime win over Turkey
Tuesday was a tense game for Team USA as they looked like they were about to lose on several different occasions late in the fourth quarter and in overtime. But, behind critical free throws from Jayson Tatum and Khris Middelton, Team USA escaped with the victory. Derrick White played in each quarter, though his minutes overall were decreased to 11:33. White finished with two points, three assists, two rebounds, and two turnovers.
White didn’t get to have a major impact while he was in the game, as he was mainly out on the floor to provide a few minutes of rest for Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell, and Marcus Smart. While he had a few sound defensive possessions in the halfcourt when he was in the game, White did turn the ball over in both the first and third quarters.
Team USA now improves to 2-0 and their final game of group play will take place Thursday against Japan. Japan is winless so far in Group E.
Mills, Australia move on to second round with win against Senegal
Like his Spurs teammate Marco Belinelli with Italy, Mills led Australia in scoring Tuesday with 22 points (8/16 shooting), one rebound, one assist, and two turnovers. Australia also improves to 2-0 and their final group game will take place Thursday against Lithuania. Lithuania is also 2-0 so far at the World Cup in Group H.