Order restored: USA beats Canada in pre-Fiba World Cup basketball | Inquirer Sports

Order restored: USA beats Canada in pre-Fiba World Cup basketball

/ 09:04 PM August 26, 2019
Donovan Mitchell

United States’ Donovan Mitchell jumps up to dunk the ball against Canada during their exhibition basketball game in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

SYDNEY (AP) — The United States rebounded from a rare loss two days earlier to outclass Canada 84-68 in a pre-World Cup exhibition basketball game Monday.

At the same arena where the Americans won Olympic gold at the Sydney 2000 Games the U.S. never trailed, leading 20-9 after the first quarter and 46-31 at halftime. Canada was hurt by a poor shooting percentage in the first half, netting just 12 for 43 and three for 14 from the three-point range.

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On Saturday, Australia stunned the U.S. 98-94 before a crowd of more than 52,000 in Melbourne, a result that ended the Americans’ 78-game winning streak.

The U.S. is missing top NBA players such as LeBron James, James Harden, Paul George and Stephen Curry. It was a dour scoring game after the exciting Saturday result in Melbourne, with both teams committing numerous turnovers Monday.

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Jaylen Brown had 19 points to lead the Americans, who out-rebounded Canada 55-37. Donovan Mitchell added 12 points and four assists; Kemba Walker scored 12 points and Myles Turner finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Kyle Wiltjer had 21 points for Canada, while Orlando Magic forward Khem Birch — Canada’s lone NBA player in the game — had 13 points and six rebounds.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ve enjoyed our time here,” Wiltjer said. “Let’s not forget these are practice games.”

Overall, the Canadians shot just 35% from the field and 6-for-23 (26 from three-point range.

Andrew Nembhard, who injured his knee last week, and Kaza Kajami-Keane (ankle) both returned for Canada, while Brady Heslip, a late arrival for the Canadians, played his first game in Australia.

Canada was missing Oshae Brissett, who sat out with an injury.

The last time the Americans — counting major international tournaments and exhibitions with NBA players on the floor — lost a game was the semifinals of the 2006 world championships. The American program has won gold in every competition since, including three straight in the Olympics and two consecutive World Cup titles.

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Canada has also been hit hard by missing NBA players, with Miami Heat’s Kelly Olynyk the latest big-name player to pull out after sustaining a knee injury.

He joined Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, R.J. Barrett, Tristan Thompson, Dwight Powell, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Boucher and Nickeil Alexander-Walker as other Canadians to miss the World Cup in China.

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TAGS: Australia, Basketball, Canada, Donovan Mitchell, exhibition game, Fiba World Cup, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, scrimmage, Team USA, tune-up, US
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