MANILA, Philippines — Crew USA acquired its first actual check of the Fiba World Cup on Friday, and located a solution to survive and stay unbeaten.
Anthony Edwards scored 17 factors, Austin Reaves had 12, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 11 and the Individuals overcame a halftime deficit to beat Montenegro 85-73 within the second-round opener on the Fiba World Cup for each groups. It put the U.S. on the point of clinching a spot within the quarterfinals.
Mikal Bridges and Tyrese Haliburton every scored 10 for Crew USA (4-0).
— NBA (@NBA) September 1, 2023
Nikola Vucevic had 18 factors and 15 rebounds for Montenegro, which led 39-38 on the half. Kendrick Perry scored 14 for Montenegro (2-2).
The U.S. led 61-55 going into the fourth and tacked some extent on to make it a seven-point edge — its greatest of the sport to that time — early within the ultimate quarter.
Montenegro simply wouldn’t go away. A 3-pointer by Nikola Ivanovic acquired the underdogs inside 64-62 with 7:15 remaining, and the Individuals couldn’t exhale till the ultimate seconds — a far cry from the best way the primary three video games of the match went, with factors coming in bunches and the U.S. profitable each recreation by at the least 27 factors.
It was a nasty first half for the U.S. by nearly all statistical measures: The Individuals shot 35% from the sector, have been simply 1 for 9 from 3-point vary, acquired outrebounded 28-17 and managed solely 9 factors off 12 turnovers by Montenegro.
And the U.S. misfired on alternatives as nicely. Take into account this sequence that began with 1:10 left within the half: Walker Kessler acquired a dunk off a cross from Edwards, acquired fouled, Montenegro was whistled for a technical as nicely. However the U.S. went simply 1 for 3 on the following free throws, and Kessler missed from layup vary to finish the possession.
It was an opportunity for a seven-point possession and the U.S. got here away with solely three.
USA: The Individuals have been 26.5-point favorites at tip-off. … Kessler acquired earlier-than-usual minutes, largely due to the success Montenegro’s huge entrance line was having within the paint. Cam Johnson was not in Friday’s rotation. … Paolo Banchero performed with a wrap on his proper thumb, which he damage on a cross within the Greece recreation.
Montenegro: Earlier than Friday, Montenegro had solely a 4-4 report this summer season — 2-1 on the World Cup, 2-3 in exhibitions main as much as the match. … Perry is a Florida native, somebody who performed 4 years of school basketball at Youngstown State (averaging 16.2 factors for his profession) and briefly had time within the G League earlier than spending the final decade or so in numerous worldwide leagues.
Friday marked the primary time the U.S. performed the nationwide staff presently often called Montenegro on the senior males’s degree. The U.S. beat the previous Yugoslavia — made up of Serbia and Montenegro — within the gold-medal recreation on the 1996 Olympics.
As soon as once more, the U.S. didn’t come out flying within the opening minutes. The Individuals acquired down 14-4 to New Zealand and 6-2 to Greece to open these video games, and located themselves in a fast 11-4 gap Friday.
USA: Play Lithuania on Sunday.
Montenegro: Play Greece on Sunday.
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