Myles Turner’s performance may be headlined by his late-game turnover that almost led to a stunning Turkish victory over Team USA, but the starting center put together a strong game led by his early activity on both ends.
The environment in Shanghai, China made it feel like a Turkey home game, as the crowd rallied around the Turkish team in the final minutes as they closed in on Team USA.
However, it wasn’t enough. Khris Middleton hit two free-throws with 2.1 seconds remaining to give USA the victory.
Ersan Ilyasova gave Turkey an 81-79 lead with 12.3 seconds remaining. Jayson Tatum responded by drawing a foul on a three-pointer with 0.1 seconds left. He went 2-3 from the line to send the game to overtime.
Turner was not in the game to contend with Ilyasova on his go-ahead put-back.
In overtime, Turkey led by as much as five points, but a 7-0 run led by Kemba Walker and Tatum gave USA a 91-89 lead. Then, Cedi Osman drew an and-1 with a minute left to take a 92-91 lead.
Turner scored the go-ahead tip-in with 30 seconds left, but Donovan Mitchell was called for offensive goal tending. The shot looked like it would have still gone in without Mitchell’s goal tend.
With a chance to take the lead again Turner got the ball on the wing and was stripped by a Turkish defender. After three missed free-throws for Turkey, Middleton got fouled at the rim with 2.1 seconds left and hit both free throws, giving USA the lead.
Ilyasova missed the game-winning three-pointer as time expired.
Myles Turner’s early activity, which included 5 points, 3 rebounds and sound defense in the opening minutes, helped give Team USA an early 10-2 lead.
He finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 1 block in 28 minutes.
Turkey stormed back against USA’s second unit, cutting the lead to 20-19 with under a minute to go in the first, but late Marcus Smart and Middleton three-pointers gave USA a 26-21 lead after one.
USA surged to a double-digit lead in the second quarter, but a late Turkey run cut their lead to 47-42 at halftime.
Once again in the third quarter, USA’s second-unit struggled which led to a big Turkey comeback. A Cedi Osman three-pointer tied the game at 59-59 with 1:45 remaining.
USA was led by Middleton with 15 points and Walker with 14 points.
Turkey, who boasts a lineup with Osman, Ilyasova and Furkan Korkmaz, was led by Ilyasova with 23 points.
Turkey struggled to score around the rim with Turner’s rim protection in the way. His activity on the boards was not entirely shown on the box score, as well, as the starting center kept multiple possessions going with tip-outs to perimeter players.
On offense, he started the game with a dunk after his defender collapsed on Jayson Tatum on the block. Tatum slipped a bounce pass to Turner and he was strong with it to the rim.
Later in the opening quarter, Turner got the ball at the high-post, instead of taking a contested mid-range jumper as he did several times in their game against the Czech Republic, he backed his man to the basket, went up strong and hit an and-1.
In the second quarter, Turner showed his range by stepping beyond the arc and nailing a three-pointer in rhythm.
The win qualifies Team USA for the knockout stage. They are in action again on Thursday against Japan at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN+ for their last group stage game of the tournament.