Shanghai • Chris Middleton's two free throws with 2.1 seconds left in overtime saved the United States from what would have been a shocking loss, and the two-time defending champion somehow had to beat Turkey 93- 92 World Cup Group E match on Tuesday night.
Turkey came out 0 for 4 of the error in nine tenths of a second, with the last two overs coming from Sedi Osman with 8.2 seconds. Middleton went to the edge of possession, fouled and fired both shots.
Turkey had a chance at the end, but Ersan Ilyasov's jumper was canceled and the Americans escaped.
The Americans have now won 21
Middleton led the Americans by 15 points, and Kemba Walker – who erased one fiftieth American overtime deficit with a 3-pointer and another score, as evidenced by his drawing, offensive foul – scored 14 in a game where Jason Tatum needed a make two of three free throws with one tenth of a second left in regulation to save them.
Ilyasova led Turkey by 23 points. Melih Mahmutoglu was 18, Furkan Korkmaz scored 16 and Osman added 15 for Turkey.
The victory reached the second round for the United States, but only after Osman and Dogus Balbai went 0 for 4 from the Turkey line up with one in the final seconds of overtime.
Ilasov's attack with 12.3 seconds left in regulation gave Turkey the first lead at 81-79. Turkey went 0-for-9 to take the lead before Ilyasov's match jumped off the edge and fell through the net.
The United States went for the win on subsequent possession, with Middleton first missing a 3-pointer ball found by Tatum as the final seconds ticked away. He was fouled by Osman when he attempted 3 points from the top of the key; the dashboard showed no time left, but officials put in one tenth of a second after review.
He made the first one. The second slid out. The third, with the play of the line, was shaking at home.
Turkey had a chance at the final game of regulation, but the rim to the rim was easily removed by sending the game to OT.
The US led to a quick lead of 10: 2 and was never halfway behind, although it was very close to the comfort of the Americans. They were 26-21 after the first quarter, though the Americans seemed to be in control again when they led 41-26 with 5:33 left in the half.
Then Turkey got a spark – from a guard born in Gainesville, Florida.
Scottie Wilbekin, who played a four-year college ball for Florida and received his Turkish passport last year, gave a 12-0 boost that roused the pro-Turkish crowd of 18,000 at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center. He started with a 3-pointer, fed Ilyasov for 3 more after a moment, and converted a four-point play with 3:12 left in the half.
And she stayed tight the rest of the way, all the way through.
USA: Jason Williams, the point guard on the 2006 NBA title for Miami, was in the stands. … Tatum, Miles Turner and Joe Harris finished 11th for the Americans.
Turkey: Loss has dropped Turkey to 21-8 in their last 29 World Cup games. … Wilbakin faced some American players before – at college in Florida he played against Harris (Virginia) and Middleton (Texas A&M), and in the 2015 NBA preseason against Philadelphia (then with Cleveland) and Brooke Lopez (then with Brooklyn).
USA are already 3-0 against Turkey after matches in each of the last three World Cups. The Americans held on to a tumultuous home crowd to beat Turkey 81-64 in the 2010 World Cup gold medal game in Istanbul, then rallied from a five-point deficit to beat Turkey 98-77 in the second match of the 2014 World Cup.
Jeremy Lin, who last month signed with the Beijing Ducks to continue his career after playing for eight NBA teams for nine seasons, was in the game. Lynn is best remembered for his Linsanity blade with New York Knicks, who made it a temporary glory, as well as winning the NBA title last season with the Toronto Raptors.
USA: Faces Japan on Thursday in Shanghai.  Turkey: Faces Czech Republic on Thursday in Shanghai.