Monday, June 1, 2020

The Boston Celtics Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum contributed heavily to Team USA’s victory over Turkey.

Two Boston Celtics contributed heavily to a very close 93-91 victory over Turkey in World Cup competition. The Turkish crew proved very tough for the Americans to handle, but Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum came through for Team Shamrock and Team USA.

The first half ended with Team USA up by five points with a score of 47-42. Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker were the big guns for the USA. Tatum racked up five points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal. Kemba scored five points, grabbed two boards and passed off for three assists. Ersan Ilyasova was high man for Turkey with 15 points in the half, to go with four rebounds.

At the 0:04 mark of the third quarter, Walker went into the game for Marcus Smart and hit a last-second prayer of a 3-pointer just before the buzzer. The score at the end of the third period was 65-61 in favor of Team USA. Myles Turner’s play in this game through three quarters was sensational, pouring in 11 points and taking down eight rebounds.

Kemba wasn’t just racking up points, rebounds and assists in this one. His dogged defense was also on display, as seen in the video below:

Turkey tied the score at the 6:01 mark of the fourth quarter. Ilyasova continued to plague Team USA putting in a layup and then a tip-in in the final minute of the fourth period. The period ended in an 81-81 tie as Tatum made 2-of-3 critical free thows.

The 5-minute OT period was a nail-biter. A defensive rebound by Jayson (Team-high 11 boards for the game) in the closing seconds and two free throws by Kris Middleton sealed the victory. Kemba finished with 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Jayson had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Marcus Smart (5 points, one assist) and Jaylen Brown (one point, one rebound) were both quiet for Team USA. Turkey’s Ersan Ilyasova was a major factor in this contest being so close, ending with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @_Celtics_Center

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