The USA defeat Jordan 110-62 in the final group stage game of the FIBA ​​World Championship


Another game, another cracker for the USA at the Basketball World Cup. And now the competition is likely to be much tougher.

Anthony Edwards scored 22 points and the Americans made an easy march through Wednesday’s group stage, beating Jordan 110-62 to improve to 3-0 and finish at the top of Group C. The second round for the USA starts on Friday against Montenegro.

“Staying aggressive, staying confident, that’s just something I do,” Edwards said. “It paid off today.”

Bobby Portis scored 13 goals for the USA, who led 19 after a quarter and 62-33 at halftime. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 12 and Jalen Brunson added 10.

“It’s always fun when everyone can play and contribute,” said USA coach Steve Kerr.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson — the only player with NBA experience on Jordan’s roster — led his team with 20 points and seven rebounds. Jordan finished the group game 0-3 and will play in the classification round for non-second-round teams starting Thursday.

The USA improved to 8-0 overall this summer, tallying five games en route to Manila. The Americans are one of three teams to have won all three group stage games by at least 20 points – alongside Group H winners Canada and Group D winners Lithuania, who meet the USA in Sunday’s second round final .

This was the easiest of the three games for the USA, who beat New Zealand by 27 points in the opening game Greece until 28 On Monday.

“We tried to slow them down as much as possible,” said Jordan coach Wesam Al-Sous. “We failed. You scored 110 points.”

Hollis-Jefferson has tried to model his game — not to mention his current haircut, as there’s one striking resemblance — after Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who even wore the number 24 on his jersey for Jordan this summer wore.

If this was his candidacy to return to the NBA after not playing in the league since June 2021, it wasn’t bad. In Jordan’s first two games at the World Cup, he scored 66 points, then on Wednesday he shot 6 of 16 – again and again earning ‘Kobe! Kobe!” chants from some in the crowd in Manila.

Hollis-Jefferson spent a brief stint with Edwards and Minnesota before the start of the 2020-21 season. Hollis-Jefferson never played an actual game with the Timberwolves, but Edwards remembers their time together.

“He was sort of my vet when I was a freshman,” Edwards said. “We haven’t seen each other since, so it was fun chatting.”

For the first time this summer, the US had a different starting five. Brandon Ingram was out and Josh Hart was in, along with Brunson, Edwards, Jackson Jr. and Mikal Bridges – who was celebrating his 27th birthday.

All 12 US players had scored by the end of the third quarter. The Americans also put everyone on the scoresheet in Monday’s win over Greece.

The USA take on Montenegro in a second-round match in Manila on Friday. Jordan meets Egypt in a classification match in Manila on Thursday.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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Anthony Edwards

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