Anthony Edwards scored 15 points as the USA Basketball team defeated Puerto Rico 117-74 in their first World Cup tune-up game. The Americans used a 20-0 run in the second half to secure the victory. Mikal Bridges also contributed with 14 points, while Jalen Brunson grabbed 12 rebounds. The U.S. team finished with seven players scoring in double figures. The Americans will continue their preparation with games against Slovenia and Spain in Spain, followed by matches in Abu Dhabi against Greece and Germany. NBA.com reported
In the first World Cup tune-up game for the American basketball team, Anthony Edwards and Cam Johnson both contributed 15 points to secure a resounding 117-74 victory over Puerto Rico. The U.S. displayed their dominance with a 20-0 run in the second half. Mikal Bridges also impressed with 14 points, while Jaren Jackson Jr., Jalen Brunson, Bobby Portis, and Brandon Ingram all added 11 points each. The U.S. team showcased their superior talent, outrebounding Puerto Rico 53-27 and finishing with seven players in double figures. Tremont Waters was the top scorer for Puerto Rico with 17 points.
The game featured a mix of impressive plays, mistakes, and exceptional performances. Paolo Banchero made a remarkable block with his elbow, and Anthony Edwards nearly touched the backboard with his head during a dunk. Austin Reaves received a warm welcome from the crowd as he made his debut for the U.S. team. This exhibition game was the first of five before the World Cup, and the only one held in the U.S. The team will travel to Malaga, Spain to face Slovenia and Spain, followed by games in Abu Dhabi against Greece and Germany.
The World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. The U.S. team aims to redeem themselves after a disappointing seventh-place finish in the 2019 World Cup in China. In this game against Puerto Rico, the Americans exhibited their dominance by outscoring their opponents 34-18 in the third quarter, turning a close game into a comfortable lead. The U.S. team hopes to carry this momentum into the World Cup and achieve a better outcome.
In other news, Puerto Rico will also be playing their group-stage World Cup games in Manila, but in a different group. Puerto Rico is scheduled to face South Sudan, Serbia, and China. The U.S. team now has a record of 11-0 in World Cup exhibition games on home soil and 24-1 overall. Notably, Kevin Durant, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and a member of USA Basketball’s board of directors, was present at the game, along with other notable basketball figures.
The U.S. team’s next game is against Slovenia in Malaga, Spain, while Puerto Rico will be facing Italy in Ravenna, Italy..