Team USA are all over the place after suffering a second consecutive loss ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The team followed up their loss to Nigeria in the first match by losing 91-83 to Australia.
The team are 0-2 in the pre-Olympic exhibition matches so far and have three more games to set things right.
Gregg Popovich’s side started the contest on a bright note and forged an early lead on the bank of a 20-6 run. The favourites took a nine-point lead heading into half-time as well.
But, the Australians came right back into the contest with an impressive third quarter. The underdogs stitched a 19-6 run in the second half of the quarter to head into the final quarter with a five-point lead.
Team USA were only able to score a single point off the final four and a half minutes of the game. Australia capitalised on this run to outscore them 11-1 to win the contest.
Damian Lillard top-scored for the team with 22 points to his name. Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal posted 17 and 12 points respectively. No other member from Team USA was able to reach double digits in scoring.
For Australia, San Antonio Spurs’ Patty Mills top-scored by scoring 22 points while Utah Jazz’s Joe Ingles posted 17 points for the win.
Gregg Popovich sees improvement in Team USA despite loss
The legendary coach gave his verdict after the loss to the world’s third-ranked side. While he felt that his team were better than their last outing, he lost his cool at a reporter who brought up the team’s history of being dominant in exhibition matches.
I thought we got better tonight,” Popovich said, via The Associated Press. “After a short time together, there’s a lot of things that have to be covered, but the first half and the second half were two different beasts.
Team USA does have a history of blowout wins when it comes to the Olympics and the warm-up games that precede it.
Top-scorer Damian Lillard claimed that they are playing against quality teams who have assembled for training well before themselves. Moreover, Team USA is still incomplete with the trio of Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker still competing in the NBA Finals.
The side will take on Argentina next, who succumbed to a defeat against Nigeria in their exhibition fixture.