Another blue-collar performance by Kenneth Faried as U.S. wins again

Denver Nuggets forward finishes preliminary play averaging 13.8 points, 7.8 rebounds
by Aaron Lopez
Nuggets.com

Ho-hum. Another day, another blue-collar performance from the Manimal at the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

More importantly, another victory for Kenneth Faried and Team USA.

Faried capped another workmanlike effort with a putback dunk as the United States put the finishing touches on a 95-71 victory over Ukraine on Thursday in Bilbao, Spain.

The Denver Nuggets forward finished with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting to help Team USA wrap up pool play with 5-0 record. He also had eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

Faried and his teammates will enjoy a day off Friday before opening the elimination round against Mexico on Saturday in Barcelona.

The Manimal certainly earned some rest after averaging 13.8 points and a team-leading 7.8 rebounds in five games. He also is shooting .791 from the field (34 of 43), which is by far the best percentage in the tournament.

"He’s been playing great," Team USA point guard Derrick Rose said. "He knocked down a jump shot today, something he’s been working on in practice. He gives us extra possessions on the floor. He gives us his all. We know he’s trying to do everything he can to help us win. That’s all we can ask for."

Playing their third game in three days, the Americans led Ukraine by two points late in the second quarter.

Faried’s jumper with 17 seconds left before halftime capped an 11-2 run that put the U.S. ahead 44-32 at the break.

Ukraine never got closer than that in the second half.

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