FIBA Worlds: USA Still on Cruise Control
It was claimed on this site that Lithuania would need to play a perfect game if it expected to defeat the USA in its semi-final pairing.
Well, no man is perfect. Much less a team of them.
On this day, the Americans had to wait until Klay Thompson entered the game before the offense got up to speed. However, like any squad coached by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, their defense kept the opponents at bay while waiting for the Golden State Warriors' sharpshooter to make his appearance.
That wait was necessitated because the other Golden State Warriors' sharpshooter, Stephen Curry, was both cold and in early foul trouble during the early going. But Thompson was up to the task, and the USA simply marked time against the seasoned and physical Lithuanians, as its 43-35 halftime lead didn't really seem that close.
After that, the Americans turned it into a track meet. An 18-2 barrage to begin the third quarter put the contest away, and the only question would be margin of victory. The magic number there was 28. By then, Kylie Irving (18), James Harden (16) and the aforementioned Mr Curry (13) joined Thompson in double figures.
The only fireworks of note were DeMarcus Cousins taking exception to a Jonas Valanciulis (Toronto Raptors) elbow connecting with his throat ...
... and Anthony Davis getting T'd late in the game for not realizing how well the referee understood English.
Now, they'll await the winner of France v Serbia tomorrow and prepare to do what everyone expects them to do on Sun 14 Sep.