Chris Paul leads Team World Turnaround over Team Africa


Former Wake Forest guard Chris Paul was at hand to lead Team World in a comeback victory over Team Africa in an NBA exhibition game played in Johannesburg, South Africa earlier today. This was the first NBA game ever played in Africa. As such it featured a number of players with African connections. These included Wake Forest’s Al-Farouq Aminu, Duke’s Luol Deng, and the Charlotte Hornets’ own Nicolas Batum.

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Team Africa seemed to have the game in hand through the first half, even though that half included a stint with NBA retirees Hakeem Olajuwon and Dikembe Mutombo manning the post. Both post men are in their fifties, but still left an impression on the audience. Olajuwon had a rejection of Trey Burke and a recreation of the Dream Shake to get Team Africa two points.

Olajuwon and Mutombo were wearing the white versions of the old Rockets and Nuggets jerseys. Team Africa all wore the whites. That means this was the first game for Batum in a Hornets jersey. The World team had to live with their colored jerseys, which could be a little confusing for the viewer.

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Paul came out firing for Team World after the half. He only scored twelve points on the game, but nine of those came on consecutive three point baskets in the beginning of the third quarter. That turned a 56-38 deficit into a 56-47 one and the game only got closer from there. Eventually the World team seized the game 85-78, and held off the final Africa comeback to win 101-97.

Deng was the captain and second leading scorer for Team Africa. He gave them a twenty point effort. Aminu came off the bench to add seven points and fifteen rebounds. Batum had a lackluster performance with seven points and three assists compared to four turnovers.

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