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USA make light work of Greece to reach FIBA World Cup knockout stage

Team USA secured their place in the next round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup with a convincing 109-81 win over Greece.

The Europeans were without star man Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks through injury, meaning that their slim hopes of producing an upset were further reduced.

But they got off to a good start, with Georgios Papagiannis particularly clinical, scoring 11 points in the first quarter. However, the United States found their feet and went into the first break 23-19 ahead with Jalen Brunson standing out with six points.

While slow in the first, the US got off to a quick start in the second quarter. Austin Reaves stepped up to give his team a 27-22 lead, before Paolo Banchero dunked home to increase their lead to 12 points.

The US went into the halfway point 22 points ahead of Greece, with a score of 70-48. Incredibly, the Americans had made all 22 of their free-throws.

Austin Reaves (R) of USA in action during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023

Austin Reaves (R) of USA in action during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023FRANCIS R. MALASIGEFE

Greece demolished by Team USA

There was no looking back from that point on. Jalen Brunson could barely miss a shot from mid-range while Reaves increased his personal tally to 15.

The US' lead had increased to 79-56 by the end of the third quarter with the Greeks looking dejected at the evident gulf in quality between themselves and their opponents.

Steve Kerr's side played with confidence and freedom in the final quarter as they cruised to a 109-81 victory which confirms their passage to the next round. Meanwhile, Greece will have to defeat New Zealand to reach the knockout stage.

Reaves was named MVP with 15 points, five rebounds and six assists, although the leading marksman of the match was Papagiannis with 17.

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