Team USA —and Joe Harris— breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday in Shanghai as Turkey missed its last four free throws, two the result of an “intentional foul” by Harris in overtime. Final score: USA 93, Turkey 92.
Harris finished with 11 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes of play. He shot 4-of-7 overall and 2-of-3 from deep (for the second straight game). Harris was also credited with an assist and two steals.
Turkey blew the game twice, once in regulation, then again in overtime, losing leads because of missed free throws. The US on the other hand couldn’t contain Turkey’s three NBA players, Ersan Ilyasova, Furkan Korkmaz and Cedi Osman, who finished with 23, 16 and 15. Ilyasova also finished with 14 rebounds.
Harris expressed relief at the end of game, saying the team came through “adverse moments.”
Ilyasova’s tip-in with 12.3 seconds remaining in regulation gave Turkey its first lead at 81-79. Turkey had gone 0-of-9 on shots to take the lead before Ilyasova’s swat bounced off the rim and dropped through the net.
USA went for the win on the ensuing possession, first with Khris Middleton missing a 3-pointer and then the ball finding Jayson Tatum as the last seconds ticked away. He got fouled by Osman as he took a 3-point attempt from the top of the key; the scoreboard showed no time left, but officials put one-tenth of a second on after review.
He made the first. The second rimmed out. The third, with the game on the line, rattled home.
Turkey had a chance on the final play of regulation, but a lob to the rim got knocked away easily, sending the game to OT.
Then, in the final seconds of OT, the game got really interesting.
Turkey went 0-of-4 from the foul line within a span of nine-tenths of a second, two of them by Dogus Balbay who was awarded the shot after Harris intentionally fouled him, which in international play amounts to “unsportsmanlike conduct.” That resulted in two shots and possession.
Finally, Middleton went to the rim on the ensuing possession, got fouled and made both shots, giving the Americans the lead and the win.
Turkey had a chance at the end, but Ersan Ilyasova’s jumper was off the mark and the Americans escaped.
Harris didn’t start but was inserted by Gregg Popovich with 2:49 in the first.
Harris was banging around down low for what felt like the entire game, as USA Today’s Nick Friar reported. When the score was tied at 59-59, with Team USA losing all momentum, Harris came up with a big offensive rebound, made the shot, drew a foul and knocked down the free-throw.
Later on, he had a big steal when the game was tied 71-71, which resulted in an easy layup.
After two games, Harris is Team USA’s fifth leading scorer (10.0), third leading rebounder (4.5) and leading 3-point shooter (66.7 percent).
After the game, Kevin Durant offered his support for Harris.
Team USA plays Japan next on Thursday.
- Box Score: Team USA 93, Turkey 92 (OT) - FIBA.com
- Great Escape: US somehow gets past Turkey, 93-92 in OT - Tim Reynolds - AP
- Joe Harris’ adrenaline still pumping directly after USA’s win over Turkey - Nick Friar - USA Today
- Clutch free throws lift Team USA to overtime win over Turkey - John Schuhmann - NBA.com