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Tuesday, November 12, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  International sports

NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece open World Cup with easy win

Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece drives to the hoop during their their group stage match against Greece at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Nanjing in eastern China's Jiangsu province, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. (Han Yuqing / Xinhua News Agency via AP)
Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece drives to the hoop during their their group stage match against Greece at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Nanjing in eastern China's Jiangsu province, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. (Han Yuqing / Xinhua News Agency via AP)
By Tim Reynolds Associated Press

Giannis Antetokounmpo stole the ball at one end, dribbled behind his back around midcourt, kept going and took off from just below the foul line before unleashing a dunk.

The NBA MVP sent a message on Sunday. So did his team.

Turning it into a rout by halftime, Greece opened its World Cup schedule with an easy 85-60 victory over Montenegro in Group F at Nanjing. Antetokounmpo had 10 points and eight rebounds in only 16 minutes.

It was 42-16 at the half. Big minutes were not required.

“It was a great win today,” Antetokounmpo said. “A lot of guys played well. I think coach did a great job managing minutes. Everybody got some minutes. Everybody got to play.”

Georgios Printezis led Greece with 16 points and Georgios Papagiannis added 15 on 7 for 8 shooting.

“When you play for the national team, you don’t only play for yourself,” Antetokounmpo said. “You represent every single Greek person.”

Nikola Vucevic led Montenegro with 12 points.

AUSTRALIA 108, CANADA 92: At Dongguan, Canada came to the World Cup expecting that its group would be extremely challenging, and Australia proved that to be correct.

Matthew Dellavedova scored 24 points, and the Australians opened the fourth quarter on a huge run to pull away and beat Canada 108-92 in a Group H opener.

Goulding scored 16, Patty Mills had 15 and Joe Ingles finished with 13 points and nine assists for Australia. Andrew Bogut added 12 points on 6 for 7 shooting, plus grabbed nine rebounds, and Aron Baynes scored 10 for the winners.

U.S. 88, CZECH REPUBLIC 67: At Shanghai, Donovan Mitchell scored 16 points, Harrison Barnes added 14 and the U.S. opened its quest for a third consecutive FIBA World Cup gold medal.

Tomas Satoransky led the Czechs with 17 points.

FRANCE 78, GERMANY 74: At Shenzhen, France opened the game on a 21-4 run and held on to beat Germany behind 26 points from Evan Fournier.

Johannes Voigtmann scored 25 points and Dennis Schroder had 23 for Germany in the Group G opener.

LITHUANIA 101, SENEGAL 47: At Dongguan, Lithuania had seven players in double figures and held Senegal to 29% shooting in a Group H opener. Domantas Sabonis, Jonas Valanciunas and Mantas Kalnietis each had 13 points to lead the winners.

TURKEY 86, JAPAN 67: At Shanghai, Turkey got its Group E schedule started with a wire-to-wire win over Japan behind 17 points apiece from Ersan Ilyasova and Melih Mahmutoglu. Rui Hachimura scored 15 points for Japan, as did Nick Fazekas.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 80, JORDAN 76: At Shenzhen, Victor Liz scored 15 points to lead the Dominican Republic to a Group G win. Ahmad Al Dwairi had 34 points and 10 rebounds for Jordan, which got 24 points from Dar Tucker. Jordan was down by 16 points late in the third quarter, then pulled into a 64-64 tie early in the fourth after a 22-6 run. Jordan took a pair of one-point leads late, but the Dominicans finished on a 7-2 run.

BRAZIL 102, NEW ZEALAND 94: At Nanjing, Brazil outscored New Zealand 28-12 in the third quarter and held on to win a Group F opener. Leandro Barbosa led Brazil with 22 points. Corey Webster scored 19 for New Zealand.

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