USAB went 5-0 in preliminary-round play at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, taking down the Ukrainian squad 95-71.
The Yanks got off to a sluggish start, but inevitably ended up with a blowout victory:
“I thought we got off to a very slow start offensively,” said USA coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Steph’s (Curry) right, I thought our defense was good throughout until we got a pretty good lead. They were 1-for-13 from 3, we really wanted to take away their 3-point shooting and I thought we did that until later.
Again featuring a balanced scoring attack, six players finished in double-figures for the U.S. James Harden scored 17 points, including 10 in the third quarter, and dished out five assists; Stephen Curry added 14 points while shooting 3-of-4 from 3-point; Anthony Davis finished with 12 points and six rebounds; DeMarcus Cousins and Kyrie Irving, who also dished out six assists, scored 11 points apiece; and Kenneth Faried added 10 points and eight rebounds.
“They played really hard, really physical, and they got after us from the beginning of the game,” Harden said. “It forced us to play really well. No matter what the score says, they never gave up, and it showed here tonight.”