SALT LAKE CITY — The sound you heard during the USA’s 93-92 overtime win over Turkey at the FIBA World Cup was the Jazz fan base collectively exhaling.
Not because the Americans were able to barely hold off Turkey — and we do mean barely — but because Donovan Mitchell checked back into the game after an injury.
Late in the third quarter, Mitchell was bumped during a layup attempt and was sent to the ground, but he didn’t pop back up. Mitchell withered in discomfort as play was stopped and spent the next few minutes getting looked at on the bench.
But in the fourth quarter he returned.
Jazz fans were no doubt relieved to see him back, and to see that the fall didn't seem to have any last effect. He hit a 3-pointer with around three minutes remaining in regulation and made some explosive leaping rebounds — including a very critical one.
With Team USA trailing by two, Mitchell soared over a Turkish player for an offensive rebound that eventually led to two game-tying free throws by Jayson Tatum.
As a whole, though, Mitchell didn’t have a great night. He finished with 9 points on 3-of-12 shooting with four rebounds and four steals. Mitchell was 0-for-3 from inside the 3-point line as he struggled to penetrate Turkey’s zone defense.
But he finished the game healthy — and most Utah fans will count that as a win.
The win over Turkey showed just how vulnerable this Team USA is in World Cup play. The Turkish team was the more experienced and cohesive unit and had late leads in both regulation and overtime.
It took Turkey fouling Tatum on a last-second 3-point shot for the Americans to reach overtime and it took Turkey missing four straight free throws in the final seconds for the USA to get the win.
Australia 81, Senegal 68
Joe Ingles was one assist away from history; one assist away from the first-ever triple-double in FIBA World Cup history.
His response to getting so close to the prestigious stat line? Barely a shrug.
“I didn’t know that,” Ingles said. “Even though I do know that now, it doesn’t really bother me. The only goal today was to win the game.”
Ingles helped the Boomers do just that.
Joe Ingles 🎥: 🇦🇺 vs. 🇸🇳. Joe was 1 ASSIST shy of the first triple-double in FIBA World Cup history.— Jake Lee (@jacobrexlee) September 3, 2019
4-for-6 3P pic.twitter.com/WpM3pSrZgj
The Jazz small forward had 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting (4-of-6 from 3-point range), 10 rebounds and 9 assists. His superb all-around performance helped Australia overcome a slow start to pull away from Senegal in the second half.
Ingles’ two 3-pointers in the final quarter helped Australia keep Senegal at arm’s length.
France 103, Jordan 64
The night following France’s win over Germany to start the tournament, Rudy Gobert had some random visitors in the middle of the night.
“Got woke up this morning for a doping control (BLOOD and urine), the morning after a late game when I could sleep more,” Gobert tweeted. "No respect for the player’s recovery time. Terrible way of doing things.”
It didn’t seem to affect him on Tuesday, though.
Gobert had 16 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks as France rolled to an easy win over Jordan. Gobert was 5-for-8 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.
France used an 18-0 run between the end of the second period and the start of the third to run away from Jordan.
The French needed some late-game heroics to fend off Germany in a previous game; things were a little easier this time around.
And now, hopefully, Gobert will get some more peaceful rest this time, too.