Different game, same result.
After a relatively slow by the Americans, Mike Krzyzewski’s squad turned up the defense in the third quarter and waltzed their way to win number four of group play for the FIBA World Cup, winning by a final of 106-71.
While the offense seemed to be clicking, team USA’s defense was below expectations in the first half, giving up 41 first half points. The intensity was turned up on the defensive end, limiting the Dominican Republic to 11 points in the third quarter and 30 points over the final two frames total, with most of the points in the fourth coming in garbage time.
For the second straight game, every American scored, with Kennth Faried topping all with 16 points, following by 13 points off the bench from DeMarcus Cousins and 11 points from DeMar DeRozan. Both Anthony Davis and James Harden reached double figures in the scoring column, with Davis also notching five blocks and seven rebounds on the night.
The USA’s 18 steals and eight blocks show the effort on the defensive end, with most of the steals leading to leak out fast breaks for the Americans in the third quarter. The 25-11 scoring advantage by America in the 3rd ballooned USA’s lead to 30 points by the end of the frame, eventually reaching the 40-point mark early in the fourth with USA emptying the bench.
The 71 points given up ties the mark for second fewest points scored against the Americans in the tournament, with the 55 points allowed against Finland still the low mark. USA has still yet to give up more than 77 points in any contest through the World Cup to date.
USA finishes out the group games with their contest against Ukraine at 11:30 on Thursday, but have already wrapped up 1st place in the group.