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USA Takes Down Ukraine in Group Play Finale
Highlights | Photo Gallery | Box Score
The U.S. Men’s National Team wrapped up the group stage of the FIBA World Cup with a 95-71 win over Ukraine on Thursday in Bilbao, Spain. The win capped a 5-0 run in pool play, and now the U.S. squad will travel to Barcelona for the Round of 16.
Playing their third game in as many days and with first place of Group C already secured, Team USA got off to a slow start. They were held without a field goal for the first four and a half minutes of the game and they trailed by seven late in the first quarter, their largest deficit in this year’s World Cup.
But as they’ve done on multiple occasions already in this tournament, the U.S. squad went on a game-changing run. Their 19-5 run to close out the second quarter gave them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, and USA controlled the game in the second half. Stephen Curry made three out of his four 3-point attempts and finished with 14 points, while fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson tallied seven points, five rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes off the bench.
Up next for the U.S. squad is a game against Mexico in the Round of 16. Atlanta Hawks big man Gustavo Ayon leads Mexico with 15.8 points and 7.5 rebounds, and Team USA will look to slow him down in a game that will be televised live on ESPN2 on Saturday at 7 a.m.