United States hangs on when Brazil misses shot at buzzer
The shot bounced off the back rim, then the front, then finally fell out.
With that, the United States walked off the court with a victory, and another warning: A world championship won't come easily for this young team — if it comes at all.
The Americans survived their first tough test in Turkey, edging Brazil 70-68 on Monday when Leandro Barbosa's shot rattled out at the buzzer.
"This game right here was an eye opener," U.S. guard Derrick Rose said.
Kevin Durant scored 27 points and Chauncey Billups added 15 for the Americans (3-0), who essentially clinched Group B with the victory. But they have bigger goals than a group championship, trying to end a 16-year U.S. drought in this event.
This U.S. team has to do without Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and all the other players who led the Americans to the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, and those guys never needed breaks at the buzzer.
"We know that teams are really coming in here to try to win this tournament and we're here to do the same," said Rose, the only other U.S. player in double figures with 11 points.
After the Americans trailed most of the first 2½ quarters, Lamar Odom's dunk with 7:14 left put them ahead 64-62. But they couldn't build on the lead during a tense final few minutes, and Brazil had two chances to send the game to overtime.
Following a miss by Billups, Brazil (2-1) got the ball and Marcelo Huertas was fouled on a drive to the basket with 3.5 seconds remaining. He missed the first free throw and then the second intentionally, tracking it down in the corner and firing it underneath to Barbosa, who lofted a shot over Kevin Love, only to have it bounce off the back and front of the rim.
Highlights from the World Championships on Monday:
Iran 71, Tunisia 58: Iran earned its first victory ever at basketball's world championship, blowing most of a 24-point lead before holding on to beat Tunisia. Hamed Haddadi of the Memphis Grizzlies had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Iranians (1-2), whose lead was down to three in the final minutes before they pulled away again.
Argentina 91, Angola 70: Luis Scola scored 32 points to help Argentina (3-0) essentially secure its place in the second round. The Houston Rockets power forward scored 17 of Argentina's first 23 points.
Ex-Mountaineer Butler signs with Heat
Former West Virginia star Da'Sean Butler signed with the Miami Heat, becoming the team's 18th player under contract going into training camp. Butler was the 42nd pick in this year's draft. He was projected as a potential lottery choice before he tore a ligament in his left knee during the Mountaineers' Final Four loss to Duke. Butler averaged 17.2 points as a senior. Doctors believe the knee should be fully healed in time for the NBA season.
Clarett signs with UFL team in Omaha
Former Ohio State star Maurice Clarett has signed a one-year contract with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. Clarett met Monday with team officials and UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue, who gave his blessing.
Clarett was expected to be on the practice field Monday night for his first football activity since he was a bust with the Denver Broncos and spent 3½ years in prison for having a hidden gun and holding up two people outside a Columbus, Ohio, bar in 2006. Clarett, who is not scheduled to meet with reporters until Wednesday, went through a private workout and physical Sunday.
"The things you can't coach you can see were there — footwork, hands, those types of things. And he's in really good physical condition," General Manager Rick Mueller said.
Clarett, 26, needed a judge's permission to leave Ohio to work out for the Nighthawks. He was allowed to be out of state for 30 days. Mueller said he's confident Clarett will be allowed to stay the entire season in Omaha and that he won't be barred from traveling to road games.
U.S. coach Bradley agrees to extension
U.S. Soccer announced late Monday it had agreed to a four-year extension with Bob Bradley, ending speculation he was seeking a job in Europe and that the federation wanted to start anew in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Bob is honored to be the U.S. coach," said Ron Waxman, Bradley's agent. "It's a job he enjoys very much, and he's very happy."
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and Bradley will address the extension Tuesday.
Bradley is 38-20-8 in four years, including a victory last year over top-ranked Spain that earned the Americans a spot in the Confederations Cup final, their first at a major FIFA tournament. The United States also won its group at the World Cup in South Africa before being eliminated in a 2-1 overtime loss to Ghana.
Track and Field
Gay expects speed duel with Jamaican
Tyson Gay is expecting "one of the fastest races" of the year when he comes up against Nesta Carter of Jamaica at a Zagreb, Croatia, meet on Wednesday, with both sprinters having set the quickest 100-meter time in 2010. The Lafayette High School graduate ran 9.78 seconds in London on Aug. 13, and Carter matched that time at the Rieti Grand Prix in Italy on Sunday.
Gay beat world-record holder Usain Bolt for the first time earlier this month. He said Monday that his ultimate aim is to win gold at next year's world championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Gay knows he'll have to beat Bolt again to do it, but he says "if I do my absolute best, I could beat him."
The last word
Atlanta Braves left fielder Matt Diaz, on his team's latest comeback win Sunday:
"What team hits two homers in the ninth inning to win a ball game? Hopefully, that means we're a team of destiny. If this continues, we'll either all have heart attacks or make the playoffs."