Australia showed it can do damage by ending the Americans’ 78-game winning streak in a warm-up game just over a week ago.
On Tuesday in Group H, the Boomers defeated Senegal 81-68 in Dongguan in the far south of China to improve to 2-0 and move a step closer to making the second round. Senegal is 0-2.
Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs led Australia with 22 points, but Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz was the game’s top player with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Ingles was one assist away from a triple-double, which a FIBA official told him would have been a first in the World Cup.
“I didn’t know that, but even though I do know it now it still doesn’t bother me,” he said. “The only goal today was to win the game and that’s all our focus.”
It was not that easy despite Ingles’ big numbers.
Australia led 36-33 at the half and struggled with the tall African team. Senegal has nine players at least 2.02 meters (6-foot-8) or taller. And four at 2.08 (6-10) or taller.
“That could be the tallest overall team that we’ve played against in my time as coach,” Australia coach Andrej Lemanis said.
Added Ingles: “That first half, they kind of had us on our back foot a little bit. We had to come in at halftime and address a few things.”
Xane Dalmeida led Senegal with 14 points in a game the Africans kept surprisingly close.
NEW ZEALAND 93, MONTENEGRO 83
At Nanjing, New Zealand downed Montenegro to move to 1-1 in Group F. Montenegro is 0-2.
Corey Webster led the Kiwis with 25 points and teammate Isaac Fotu added 20. Nikola Ivanovic had 18 to lead Montenegro, and Nikola Vucevic added 15.
CZECH REPUBLIC 89, JAPAN 76
At Shanghai, Blake Schilb and Jaromira Bohacik each scored 22 points and the Czech Republic kept Japan winless in Group E.
Tomas Satoransky had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Czechs (1-1).
Rui Hachimura led Japan (0-2) with 21 points, while Nick Fazekas had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 70, GERMANY 68
At Shenzhen, the Dominican Republic improved to 2-0 and Germany fell to 0-2 in Group G.
Victor Liz led the Dominicans with 17 points and Eloy Vargas added 16 as the Caribbean team prepares to head to the second round. Dennis Schroder was Germany’s top scorer with 20, and Daniel Theis added 12.
WIN OR ELSE
There are a pair of games on Wednesday that are essentially playoff matchups.
The China-Venezuela game is for a spot in the second round, as is the Puerto Rico-Tunisia game. Winners of those contests will move on, while the losers will be relegated to the classification round for the remainder of the tournament and unable to finish higher than 17th overall in the 32-team field.
Another pair of Wednesday games will decide seeds. The Argentina-Russia winner will be the top seed coming out of Group B, with the loser seeded No. 2. Same goes for the Italy-Serbia game, which will decide the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds out of Group D.
The U.S. (1-0) plays Turkey (1-0) in Group E; Brazil (1-0) plays Greece (1-0) in Group F; Jordan (0-1) plays France (1-0) in Group G; and Lithuania (1-0) plays Canada (0-1) in Group H.
Group A: Ivory Coast (0-2) vs. Poland (2-0); Venezuela (1-1) vs. China (1-1).
Group B: South Korea (0-2) vs. Nigeria (0-2); Russia (2-0) vs. Argentina (2-0).
Group C: Puerto Rico (1-1) vs. Tunisia (1-1); Spain (2-0) vs. Iran (0-2).
Group D: Angola (0-2) vs. Philippines (0-2); Italy (2-0) vs. Serbia (2-0).
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