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Antetokounmpo, Greece open WC with easy win

The Associated Press

Turkey’s Melih Mahmutoglu fights for the ball during a Group E match against Japan at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on Sunday.

The Associated Press SHANGHAI (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo stole the ball at one end, dribbled behind his back around midcourt, kept going and took off from just below the foul line before unleashing a dunk.

The NBA MVP sent a message on Sunday. So did his team.

Turning it into a rout by halftime, Greece opened its World Cup schedule with an easy 85-60 victory over Montenegro in Group F at Nanjing. Antetokounmpo had 10 points and eight rebounds in only 16 minutes.

It was 42-16 at the half. Big minutes were not required.

“It was a great win today,” Antetokounmpo said. “A lot of guys played well. I think coach did a great job managing minutes. Everybody got some minutes. Everybody got to play.”

Georgios Printezis led Greece with 16 points and Georgios Papagiannis added 15 on 7 for 8 shooting.

“When you play for the national team, you don’t only play for yourself,” Antetokounmpo said. “You represent every single Greek person.”

Nikola Vucevic led Montenegro with 12 points.

At Shanghai, Turkey got its Group E schedule started with a wire-to-wire 86-67 win over Japan behind 17 points apiece from Ersan Ilyasova and Melih Mahmutoglu. Rui Hachimura scored 15 points for Japan, as did Nick Fazekas.

Canada came to the World Cup expecting that its group would be extremely challenging, and Australia proved that to be correct.

Matthew Dellavedova scored 24 points, and the Australians opened the fourth quarter on a huge run to pull away and beat Canada 108-92 in a Group H opener.

“Good to start the tournament with a win,” Australia’s Chris Goulding said. “Our first half, we showed we can do some really good stuff.”

Goulding scored 16, Patty Mills had 15 and Joe Ingles finished with 13 points and nine assists for Australia. Andrew Bogut added 12 points on 6 for 7 shooting, plus grabbed nine rebounds, and Aron Baynes scored 10 for the winners.Speech

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