USA basketball is on the upswing, beating Germany 99-91 in the last World Cup


USA Basketball has made its way to the World Cup with an undefeated tournament record.

Anthony Edwards scored 34 points, Austin Reaves and Tyrese Haliburton each added 16 from the bench and the USA recovered from a 16-point deficit in the second half to defeat Germany 99-91 in their last preseason game on Sunday night before they Philippines headed into the final for the World Cup.

An 18-0 run in the final minutes saved the Americans, who finished the show season 5-0.

Anthony Edwards leads the fourth game with an 18-0 run to help Team USA defeat Germany 99-91

Anthony Edwards leads the fourth game with an 18-0 run to help Team USA defeat Germany 99-91

“What I like is that we now know that they have courage,” said US coach Steve Kerr. “But we can get a lot better because we have a higher cap than a lot of other teams – because most of those teams have been together. (Germany) was together. You are really good. We feel like we have more.” Room for growth. And on the way to Manila, we have to keep working and getting better.”

Edwards was brilliant, making 11 of 21 shots and scoring 8 of 8 from the line. The rest of the US starters collectively scored 25 points; Edwards alone had nine more than that.

Anthony Edwards spins in for the dunk, reducing Team USA’s deficit to Germany

Anthony Edwards spins in for the dunk, reducing Team USA's deficit to Germany

“That was the best game I’ve had in a minute,” Edwards said.

Kerr added, “He’s the guy, hands down. He knows it. Now the rest of the team knows.”

The fact is, Edwards didn’t do it alone. The comeback didn’t start until late in the third round when Haliburton had 11 points in under three minutes, taking USA down from 16 to three points and raising serious hope.

Tyrese Haliburton practices the three-pointer to close Team USA’s deficit against Germany

Tyrese Haliburton practices the three-pointer to close Team USA's deficit against Germany

Germany has not disappeared. Moritz Wagner’s three gave Germany a 86:77 lead with 6:58 to go. The Germans missed their next eight shots – and the Americans scored the next 18 points of the game and finally regained the lead with 2:15 left with Mikal Bridges’ hat-trick.

“It just comes down to buckle up and get stops,” Haliburton said.

Franz Wagner scored 17 points for Germany, who received 16 points and 10 assists from Dennis Schröder and 14 points from Moritz Wagner. It became the first team that summer to be more than four points clear of the United States but failed to complete the win.

Dennis Schröder alley-oops Daniel Theis and extends Germany’s lead against Team USA

Dennis Schröder alley-oops Daniel Theis and extends Germany's lead against Team USA

The US team has only been together for 2 1/2 weeks but hasn’t had much of a problem getting their way. The Americans opened the training schedule with a 117-74 win over Puerto Rico in Las Vegas, then traveled to Spain for victories over Slovenia (92-62, although the Slovenians played without Luka Doncic) and Spain (98-88). . From Spain, they traveled to Abu Dhabi to complete preparations, where on Friday they defeated Greece 108-86 and finally defeated the Germans.

Next comes the essentials: the World Cup, which will be held in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. Accordingly, the USA is the big betting favorite to win the tournament FanDuel Sportsbookand meets New Zealand, Greece and Jordan in the group game that begins in Manila on Saturday.

“I don’t think we ever feel like we’re out of the game,” Reaves said.

Germany vs Team USA Highlights | USA basketball storefront

Germany vs Team USA Highlights |  USA basketball storefront

With their World Cup opener on Friday, the Germans left shortly after the game to travel to Dubai and catch their flight to Japan. Daniel Theis and Andreas Obst each scored 12 points for Germany, which left the Americans behind by 46:35.

Jaren Jackson Jr. had six of the Americans’ ten blocked shots. … The US surpassed Germany by 15 points in Reaves’ 18:30 game time. … Haliburton needed just seven shots for his 16 points.

The previous starters remained the starters for this game — Jalen Brunson, Bridges, Jackson Jr., Edwards and Brandon Ingram all opened five games for the Americans this summer.

Two previously unbeaten teams – France and Brazil – lost both games on Sunday; The French were defeated by Australia and the Brazilians by Italy. And those results mean only three of the 32 World Cup contenders have not lost at least one preseason game this summer.

The USA finished 5-0, Italy improved 6-0 against New Zealand on Monday and Latvia beat Puerto Rico 5-0 before Tuesday’s final warm-up against Lithuania.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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