The Spaniards didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, but Team USA certainly did. The Americans took down Lithuania convincingly 96-68 Thursday to reach the final of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Madrid.
Kyrie Irving had 18 points, while Klay Thompson and James Harden added 16 each. Per the AP:
“I think that’s one of the reasons why we came over here, was to play them,” U.S. guard Derrick Rose said. “Too bad we’re not playing them and hopefully we go out there in our next game and play hard and just know that we’re there for a reason.”
The Americans will face France or Serbia, believing either could provide the test that was expected from Spain. […] “Obviously they’re playing there for a reason,” Harden said. “We’re not going to take anyone lightly, which we haven’t thus far.”
Some U.S. players watched the game Wednesday, while others learned the result afterward. Talk of a U.S.-Spain final had lasted as long as the tournament, and though the Americans tried to ignore it, guard Stephen Curry acknowledged that was impossible. […] “I don’t think we’re disappointed, or wished we played a certain team,” Curry said. “We’re happy to take care of our business.”