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Somehow, someway, Team USA keeps finding a way.
Kemba Walker and Myles Turner scored 16 points apiece, the defense did the rest, and the U.S. stymied Brazil in an 89-73 victory Monday at the FIBA World Cup in Shenzhen, China.
The U.S. (5-0) advanced to the quarterfinals, where it will face Evan Fournier and formidable France (4-1) on Wednesday.
Also with the win, the U.S. has officially qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“We’re thrilled that we qualified for the Olympics,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said. “With this new situation of qualifying, you don’t want to have to do that every year. So it’s a pretty big grind. Coach (Jeff) Van Gundy (who coached the USA through the World Cup Qualifying games) did that for us. He’s done a hell of a job so not having to do that again is huge. We’re thrilled that we’ve qualified.”
Turner also collected eight rebounds and Walker passed for five assists. Jaylen Brown added 11 points and Harrison Barnes scored 10.
“This is what we came here for,” Barnes said. “This is what we (are) playing for this team for, these type of games, these type of moments.”
Brazil, led by former NBA players Anderson Varejao and Leandro Barbosa, shot 43 percent from the field.
Varejao, 37, was a fan favorite as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and has said he is looking to return to the NBA.
The other quarterfinal matchups feature Argentina (5-0) vs. Serbia (4-1), Spain (5-0) vs. Poland (4-1) and Australia (5-0) vs. Czech Republic (4-1).
The U.S. and France tip off at 7 a.m. EST Wednesday on ESPN News.