The third NBA Africa game in South Africa saw Team World record a hat trick of wins, as it beat Team Africa 96-92 on Saturday at the Sun Arena in Pretoria.
The "home" team trailed 54-47 at half time but made a comeback, only to miss the mark right at the end. It was a similar story last year, though this edition saw the players expend a bit more competitive energy than is customary for exhibition games.
Congo's Serge Ibaka was one of several players to wear sneakers customised with their countries' flags. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images Team World's Danilo Gallinari was the game MVP with 23 points, and scored 9 of 10 field goals attempted. His performance bodes well for the Clippers next season, as he was on the court for 28 minutes, the most on either team. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images Cameroon's Joel Embiid put in a Herculean effort in the fourth quarter to get Team Africa close, but his efforts fell short despite him scoring 24 points in the game, the most of any player. Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images Serge Ibaka found himself up against John Collins as the players seemed to take this game more seriously than last year's edition. The referee, traditionally a glorified spectator at exhibition games, was called upon more than once to make a foul call. Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot may have been unknown to casual African fans before the game, but he probably stuck in their memory afterward. The OKC Thunder player scored 16 points, third behind Joel Embiid and Danilo Gallinari. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks was the Team World co-captain along with Rudy Gay. Middleton scored 10 points on the night. Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images JaVale McGee of the Los Angeles Lakers had to contend with former WNBA star Clarisse Machanguana of Mozambique. McGee ended the game with 11 points ... and several personal fouls. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images WNBA legend Swin Cash, who has two Olympic gold medals and a world championship title and retired in 2016, made an appearance for Team World. The Memphis Grizzlies' Garrett Temple, having a laugh with Cash here, was a late addition to the team. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images Carmelo Anthony's cameo sent the crowd into near hysterics, as the three-time Olympic gold medalist made a surprise appearance at the game as part of his trip to South Africa to open a court in Soweto. Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images NBA legend and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, on his first NBA Africa trip, received rapturous applause when he was introduced to the crowd, who cheered for his highlight reel as if it were a live game. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images Garrett Temple came up against South Sudan's Luol Deng, who showed good form for his 14 points in 24 minutes on the court. Deng was one of two players wearing No. 9 for Africa, the other being Serge Ibaka. Cue announcer confusion. Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors, representing Cameroon along with Embiid, came off the bench a number of times, as he does for his NBA team as part of the Raptors' "Bench Mob." Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images Ettore Messina was the head coach for Team World on the night and was a demanding mentor despite it being an exhibition game. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Team Africa captain Bismack Biyombo's kicks featured the blue, yellow and red of the Democratic Republic of Congo's flag. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images