Anthony Davis 17 points, 14 minutes in USA rout vs. Finland

by Jim Eichenhofer

Over a 56-second span of the second quarter on Saturday, Anthony Davis managed to nail an 18-foot baseline jumper and dropped in a pair of layups, the latter close-range score resulting in a conventional three-point play. That seven-point individual sequence provided a nice snap shot of Davis’ ultra-efficient performance in a 114-55 blowout victory for the United States over Finland, on Day 1 of the FIBA World Cup.

Despite playing only 14 minutes for Team USA  (1-0), Davis totaled 17 points, his squad’s high point total until the late stages of the fourth quarter, when he was surpassed by Klay Thompson (18 points). The 21-year-old Davis only needed eight shots from the field to amass those 17 points and did not play after the 5:03 mark of the third quarter.

Davis’ only two misses from the field came on an alley oop he couldn’t convert off a James Harden pass, as well as a mid-range jumper early in the third quarter. His 6-for-8 shooting from the field featured three layups, one dunk and two deep jumpers. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field.

The commanding margin of victory allowed Davis and several of his USA teammates to rest extensively. The Americans are back in action Sunday vs. Turkey (2:30 p.m. Central, ESPN).

In other Group C pool play action involving the Pelicans:

Turkey 76, New Zealand 73

Individually, Pelicans center Omer Asik’s World Cup opener was the antithesis of what Davis experienced. Asik was limited to just 11 minutes, finishing with one point and two blocks. From a team standpoint, however, Turkey came from behind to post an important victory. New Zealand was up 38-28 at halftime, but Turkey eventually pulled into the lead late in the fourth quarter and held on to prevail.