US Clinches Worst Big-Tourney Finish, Falls 94-89 to Serbia (Video)

United States' coach Gregg Popovich gestures during a quarterfinal match against France for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Dongguan in southern China's Guangdong province on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

DONGGUAN, China (AP) — The U.S. will leave the World Cup with its worst finish in a major international tournament, assured of finishing no better than seventh after falling to Serbia 94-89 in a consolation playoff game Thursday night.

The previous worst finish for a U.S. men’s team in 45 tournament appearances was sixth at the 2002 world championships. The Americans — the top-ranked team in the world — will be either seventh or eighth in China, depending on the outcome of their consolation finale Saturday.

Harrison Barnes scored 22 for the U.S., which got 18 from Kemba Walker and 16 from Khris Middleton.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 28 for Serbia, which ran out to a quick 25-point lead and handed the U.S. its second loss in two days. Vladimir Lucic scored 15 for Serbia, which will play for fifth place Saturday.

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By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer