You might think that a 35-point outburst from Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star shooting guard Anthony Edwards would be enough to lead Team USA to victory in the 2023 FIBA World Cup competition. But it was not to be. In this game, Team USA fell to Team Lithuania and must regroup in time to face Team Italy in their next game on Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
This one was nearly decided in the first quarter, as Team Lithuania charged out to a 31-12 lead as the second quarter began. While this was Team USA’s first loss, it did not impact USA’s right to advance to the quarterfinals. Both Team USA and Team Lithuania had already clinched quarterfinal spots last week. This contest was purely to settle the seeding order for the quarterfinal round.
In terms of qualifying for the Olympics, Team USA has already done so by becoming one of the top two teams from the Americas at the World Cup.
Not even an Avenger could save Team USA today
Team USA fell behind by 21 points early in the second quarter before Anthony Edwards went to work. By halftime, Edwards had scored 16 of Team USA’s 37 points. Not even Edwards’s outstanding resolve could stop the Lithuanians, who connected on their first nine perimeter shots.
Compounding Team USA’s woes was the fact that both Jaren Jackson Jr. (3 PFs) and Austin Reaves (2 PFs) were in early foul trouble in this one. Not a single player not named Anthony Edwards was particularly effective in scoring by halftime, as the remaining players combined for only 21 points on 8-of-22 (36.3 percent) shooting.
While Anthony Edwards continues to dominate in international play, not even he could salvage this stinker of effortless basketball from his teammates.