Overcoming a rough first three quarters, Team USA eventually pulled away from a scrappy Turkish team, earning a 98-77 victory at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Kenneth Faried dropped 22 points, while Anthony Davis chipped in with 19 (all in the second half) to lead the way for the Yanks. Their next challenge comes Tuesday against winless New Zealand. Per the AP:
“I guess we felt like last night’s game (vs Finland) was pretty easy and tonight was going to be the same way, but Turkey came out and they gave us their punch from the beginning,” forward James Harden said. “We took it and we were sluggish. That second half we played a lot better.”
“I think we didn’t come ready to play in the first half and we can’t afford to do that if we want to win a gold medal,” Davis said. “So we’ve got to come out ready to play no matter who we’re playing against.”
“Before the game we talked about we trying to keep the tempo low, in fact slow down the game and we did it very well first half. I think actually three quarters we did it very well,” Turkey’s Ender Arslan said. “But after, physically United States team is great, they played 40 minutes … so we get a little bit tired after third quarter and they still played at the same level.”