(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: No one said it would be easy for TEAM USA to go undefeated in this tournament, and sure enough, that very situation presented itself on Sunday, 9/3, when Lithuania put together a very well executed game plan that lifted them to a four point (110-104) victory that moved them to the Quarterfinals along with the Americans. In FIBA tournament talk, because of the new format implemented for World Cups, the Americans (4–1) and Lithuanians (5–0) finished as Group J’s top two teams to advance to the quarterfinals in the final round, which consists of the top eight remaining teams. There is no more room for any margin of error if TEAM USA wants to be crowned the 2023 FIBA World Cup Champion.
Once again, let’s follow the game recap and summary as submitted by the USA Basketball Communications Staff.
USA Concludes Pool Play at World Cup, Quarterfinal Matchup with Italy Set for 9/5
The United States fell to Lithuania 110-104 this past Sunday night in Manila, Philippines. The U.S. is 4-1 with a quarterfinal matchup versus Italy (4-1) set for Tuesday. The U.S. is seeking its sixth FIBA Men’s World Cup gold medal.
[Starting Out]: The United States employed the same starting lineup as they did in their previous two games: Jalen Brunson, Anthony Edwards, Mikal Bridges, Josh Hart and Jaren Jackson Jr.
[Worth Noting]: Tonight’s 110-104 loss marked just the fourth-ever meeting between USA and Lithuania at the World Cup. The U.S. is now 2-2 all-time vs. Lithuania at the World Cup.
[Strong in the Third]: The U.S. fought back from a 17-point halftime deficit to win the third quarter 28-17 and trail by six heading into the final period. The U.S. continue to be strong in the third quarter with a +67 margin in the period. The USA’s best quarter remains the fourth (+84), though the U.S. and Lithuania tied the final period tonight.
[Looking Ahead]: The USA is one of the eight remaining teams and will shift its focus to the quarterfinals as one of the remaining at the FIBA Men’s World Cup. The Americans will face Italy Tuesday..
[Bonjour, Paris]: With other results on Sunday night at the FIBA Men’s World Cup, the USA Men’s National Team punched its ticket to the 2024 Olympic Games set for Paris.
[Leading the Way]: For the seventh time this summer (including one tie), Anthony Edwards led the USA in scoring, notching 35 on Sunday night. He’s leading the U.S. in the tournament with 20.2 points per game. His 35 points tie for the second-best American individual scoring performance in a World Cup game (38, Kevin Durant vs. Lithuania in 2010; 35, Carmelo Anthony vs. Italy in 2006).
[Double-Digit Performers]: In addition to Edwards, Bridges (14), Brunson (14) and Ingram (10) all scored in double-figures. The USA has had at least four double-digit scorers in each of its five games at the World Cup so far.
[Sharing is Caring]: Brunson and Tyrese Haliburton led the USA with seven assists apiece. Haliburton leads the U.S. for the tournament, averaging 5.0 per game.
[Brandon on the Boards]: Brandon Ingram led the U.S. in rebounding with five boards. He also contributed ten points.
[Portis Strong on the Board]: Bobby Portis Jr. came in from the bench to lead the team in rebounds (five), and also contribute seven points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field.