Team USA earned their third straight victory in exhibition play leading up to the 2014 FIBA World Cup with a 112-86 win against Puerto Rico last night.
While USA Basketball turned their previous matchup against the Dominican Republic into an early blowout, they had a slightly more difficult time turning the Puerto Rico game into a similar result.
The Puerto Ricans were able to hold their own in the second as well, finding themselves only trailing by five points heading into the half.
Although P.R. seemed to have a chance at pulling a huge upset, a disastrous start to the second half made that possibility disappear. Team USA started out the second half great, using a 16-4 run to turn a tight game into another blowout.
The Americans ended up outscoring Puerto Rico 35-20 in the third quarter and 25-19 in the fourth quarter, allowing them to leave the game with a nice 112-86 win.
Stephen Curry was the high man for Team USA, finishing with 20 points and four assists in only 18 minutes of action. The team also received a lot of help from a variety of players, as seven finished scoring in double-figures.
The Atlanta Hawks’ Kyle Korver also had some playing time for the USA Basketball team after receiving a DNP-Coach’s Decision in the previous outing against the Dominican Republic. Korver wasn’t very effective, however. He finished the night with 0 points on 0-for-1 shooting and two personal fouls in six minutes of action.
Korver looks to be in trouble in terms of his chances to make the USA Basketball team. His six minutes of playing time were the least out of all the Americans who played on Friday night.
Some players were not even as fortunate as Kyle Korver though. Four players on Team USA received DNP-Coach’s Decision including DeMar DeRozan, Gordon Hayward, Damian Lillard, and Andre Drummond.
With cuts expected to come on Saturday morning, expect those with limited playing time to be the most likely to be removed from the team as USA Basketball cuts its roster down to 12 for the FIBA World Cup.
Team USA’s next exhibition match will be against Slovenia in Spain. That game can be seen on ESPN 2 at 2 p.m. on Aug. 26.