MANILA, Philippines — Group USA’s Anthony Edwards and Jordan’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added some spice to what in any other case would have been a low-drama recreation, staging an American playground-style duel that is not usually seen on the FIBA World Cup.
The 2 capturing guards went back-and-forth racking up factors and giving the gang at Mall of Asia Area one thing to concentrate to apart from the rating as Group USA received 110-62 on Wednesday to complete pool play 3-0.
The U.S. strikes on to the World Cup’s second spherical and can play Montenegro, which went 2-1 to advance out of its group, on Friday.
Edwards delighted within the assembly with Hollis-Jefferson, who was certainly one of his mentors in coaching camp with the Minnesota Timberwolves his rookie yr in 2020. Hollis-Jefferson, a six-year NBA veteran, got here in because the occasion’s second-leading scorer and one of many completely satisfied tales of the primary week.
“We have not seen one another since then, so it was enjoyable,” Edwards stated. “And yeah, we was speaking with smack on the market for certain.”
Edwards threw in a number of dunks, three 3-pointers and even a behind-the-back go. He completed with 22 factors in 19 minutes and likewise had eight rebounds and 4 assists.
Edwards additionally fouled Hollis-Jefferson twice, which is one thing the 28-year-old has change into an skilled at whereas enjoying abroad the previous two seasons. After drawing 15 fouls in a 39-point exhibiting in opposition to New Zealand on Monday, Hollis-Jefferson drove, twisted and baited the U.S. into fouling him eight occasions.
Hollis-Jefferson completed with 20 factors and seven rebounds, although he was slowed after spraining his left ankle on a drive to the basket within the first half.
In a second that type of summed up the present, Edwards scored on back-to-back breakaways through the third quarter. On the primary, Jordan’s Amin Abu Hawwas tried to get in Edwards’ method and compelled him to desert a spotlight dunk try and accept a layup. Edwards gave him a sideways search for ruining the prospect.
Seconds later, after a Jordan turnover, Edwards had the ball on a break once more. This time Abu Hawwas slowed down behind Edwards as he threw down a windmill dunk to the delight of the gang.
Group USA coach Steve Kerr had seen sufficient late within the third, calling timeout to take out his starters. Edwards stated farewell by tossing in a 35-footer that did not rely.
Edwards was in certainly one of his typical good moods after the competition and, with a mean margin of victory of 34 factors by means of three video games, was feeling assured about Group USA’s possibilities of successful the World Cup for the primary time since 2014 — particularly after being requested about Sunday’s second-round recreation with Lithuania, which can be 3-0.
“I believe we gonna win,” Edwards stated with a smile. “We’re undefeated additionally. I believe now we have an ideal likelihood to win. We acquired nice teaching workers. We acquired nice gamers. And our confidence is always we probably not nervous about these guys.”
An important factor that occurred for the Individuals within the recreation was a beginning lineup change, Kerr’s first of the final month. He put in Josh Hart, who performed strongly within the win over Greece on Monday, for Brandon Ingram.
The transfer was made for Ingram’s profit, as he was struggling performing largely as a spot-up shooter. With the second unit, he was in a position to play with the ball extra in his fingers as he is used to with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Ingram instantly appeared extra snug as a playmaker and had his greatest recreation in Manila, racking up 5 assists with seven factors in quarter-hour.
“We simply felt prefer it was essential to try Josh with the beginning group and Brandon with the following group to see if the mixtures match,” Kerr stated. “I favored what I noticed. The sport wasn’t aggressive, however there was good move with each teams.”
Jaren Jackson Jr. additionally had a robust recreation with 12 factors, 6 rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Serbia, Georgia and Brazil superior to the second spherical with victories Wednesday.