Aug 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; United States guard James Harden (13) dunks against Puerto Rico during the fourth quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

FIBA World Cup: Team USA pulls away late against Turkey

On the heels of a 59-point victory over Finland on Saturday night, the United States struggled early against Turkey, trailing by five points at halftime before pulling away 98-77 victory.

The game had a sluggish start, with the two teams playing to a 16-16 tie through the first quarter. Turkey outscored the U.S. 24-19 in the second frame, leading to a 40-35 lead at the break.

The second half was all Team U.S.A. Eventually, the all-NBA-player roster of the United States was able to wear down the much thinner roster of Turkey. Center Omer Asik is the only NBA player on the roster, and finished the game with six points, eight rebounds, and three blocks, but also committed six turnovers.

Despite an obvious depth advantage, the U.S. relied heavily on it’s starters. Of the 98 points scored by the Americans, 77 of them were by members of the starting lineup, led by Kenneth Faried‘s 22 points on 11 of 14 shooting. He also chipped in eight rebounds, three steals, two blocks, and an assist.

Anthony Davis had another efficient outing, scoring 19 points on 8 of 11 from the floor, along with six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. James Harden had 14 points and 7 assists, and Stephen Curry grabbed five steals while shooting just 3 of 11 from the field.

As a whole, the U.S. shot just 12 of 19 (63.2%) from the free throw line, and 8 of 22 (36.4%) from the shorter three-point line. There needs to be an improvement in each area when the Americans begin playing the Spains and the Frances in the tournament.

The United States will have Monday off in preparation for Tuesday’s 10:30 a.m. Central Time match-up with New Zealand. It’s another team that the Americans should have no trouble with, although New Zealand gave Turkey a scare the night before Turkey did the same to the U.S.

On Wednesday, the U.S. will have a slightly tougher test against the Dominican Republic, followed by a meeting with Ukraine on Thursday afternoon.

Expect the U.S. to continue to shore up their rotation as they work towards the next round of the FIBA World Cup.

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Tags: Anthony Davis James Harden Kenneth Faried Minnesota Timberwolves NBA News

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