Team World make it three in a row in NBA Africa Game

Team World led from start to finish to make it three wins in three games against Team Africa, taking the 2018 NBA Africa Game 96-92 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 especially catching the eye.

'Rooster' showed what's in store for Clippers fans next season by making nine of the 10 shots he attempted, including a late dagger that completed 100 percent shooting from range that capped a remarkable evening; his 23 points led Team World.

The two teams traded buckets until the final two minutes of the first quarter, when Team World went on an 8-0 run, with both sides tied at 19, to take a 27-19 lead with 34 seconds left in the quarter. Bismack Biyombo sank one of two free throws to bring the score to 27-20, but neither would score again in the remaining 34 seconds.

The second quarter saw Marvin Williams increase the lead to 12 points for Team World on a trey as the score board read 52-40 with 1:45 left, before a trey by Luwawu-Cabarrot, a Deng driving lay-up, and a pull up jumper by Embiid reduced the score line to 54-47 at half time.

The third quarter ended with Team World leading by 10 points at 78-68, the first time in the history of the series that they will be in the lead entering the fourth quarter. Team Africa led by 17 in 2015, and they were tied at 77 at the end of the third quarter in 2017. The closest Team Africa got to Team World was when Embiid completed a three-point play with 6:14 left in the quarter, to bring the score to 61-57.

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.

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.

Additional reporting by Akinbode Oguntuyi.