USA march on to face Lithuania in the semi-finals on Thursday…
Despite heading into the half-time break with just a seven-point lead, Team USA turned on the style in the second half to secure a rout of Slovenia to advance to the semi-finals of the FIBA World Cup 2014.
The Americans have been the heavy favourites to win this tournament since it began, and although they have started slowly right through the competition thus far, their depth and talent has ultimately shone through against their inferior rivals.
Slovenia were able to keep the game competitive with the Dragic brothers starring, Goran scoring a team-high 13 points, but it wasn’t enough to keep up the pace and fans are still set for a USA-Spain final.
Klay Thompson scored 20 points while James Harden scored 12 of his 14 points in the third quarter to take the game away from their opponents, with Kenneth Faried adding 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Meanwhile, there was finally some positive news for Chicago Bulls fans as Derrick Rose finished with 12 points after coming into the game shooting 8 for 37 in the World Cup, and his improvement will be a good sign for Team USA moving forward.
“I thought we played really hard the whole game and we just couldn’t finish in the first half some of those plays,” Coach Mike Krzyzewski said, ESPN reports.
“Then they stayed with it and then the floodgates opened in the second half.”
USA will face Lithuania in the semi-finals after they overcame the challenge of Turkey, although it was a tough ask for the third favourites as they were made to sweat throughout.
Turkey were undoubtedly underdogs in the encounter but a quick start and some good work inside from big man Omer Asik kept the game competitive early on.
However, Lithuania’s three-point shooting slowly became a determining factor and they sealed the win to ensure that they will be playing for a medal before they leave Spain.
The hosts are in action on Wednesday night against France, while Serbia will hope to pull off a shock against Brazil earlier in the day.
Lithuania 73-61 Turkey
Slovenia 76-119 USA