Team World led from start to finish to make it three wins from three against Team Africa in the 2018 NBA Africa Game at the Sun Arena at Time Square in Pretoria on Saturday.
Led by co-captains Rudy Gay and Khris Middleton, and featuring the likes of Harrison Barnes and Hassan Whiteside, Team World got off to a flyer, with the LA Clippers’ Italian forward Danilo Gallinari in particular catching the eye.
They led 27-20 after the first quarter, and maintained that seven-point lead at halftime, 54-47, with Gallinari leading the way with 12 points.
Team Africa co-captain Joel Embiid tried his best to keep his team in the game, wowing the capacity crowd with some powerful dunks and beautiful layoffs, but by the end of the third quarter the ‘visitors’ were even further ahead, leading 78-68.
But Team Africa fought back hard in the final 10 minutes – led by the brilliant Embiid – and almost grabbed an unlikely victory before ultimately falling four points short as Team World edged the game 96-92.
Embiid was the star performer, finishing with a game-high 24 points (plus 8 rebounds and four assists), with MVP Gallinari a close second (23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists).
OKC Thunder’s Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot finished with 16 points, while Dallas Mavericks forward Barnes and Loul Deng of the LA Lakers had 14 apiece.
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