LOS ANGELES – In the NBA's showcase of young talent, it's been USA vs. the world for the last four years. And Team World has a 3-1 edge over Team USA after the international squad rolled in the Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars game on Friday, shooting 59 percent and winning all four quarters on its way to a 155-124 victory over the Americans.
Team World's starting lineup included All-Star Joel Embiid, KIA Rookie of the Year candidate Ben Simmons, and 2017 Rising Stars MVP Jamal Murray; and a third-quarter spin move by Embiid was the highlight of the night. But it was the bench that gave Team World separation on multiple occasions Friday.
That bench was led by Sacramento Kings rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic, who scored 26 points (making seven of his 13 3-point attempts) and dished out six assists. Bogdanovic, a 25 year old from Serbia, was named game MVP.
The World took control with a 9-0 run near the end of the first quarter. After the USA closed to within four early in the second, a 16-5 World run proved to be the stretch that decided the game. Team World led by 19 points at the half, by 30 in the third quarter, and by as many as 39 in the fourth. It outscored Team USA 69-33 from beyond the arc.
Bogdanovic's Sacramento teammate, second-year guard Buddy Hield, added 29 points for Team World, while Simmons added a game-high 13 assists. Indiana Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis shot a perfect 6-for-6 and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Embiid, set to participate in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday and the All-Star Game on Sunday, played just eight minutes.
The Celtics' and Team USA's Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 35 points on 14-for-21 shooting, highlighted by a pair of through-the-legs dunks in the fourth quarter.