menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch filter reset Share

E-Team

Shop

WEAR WHAT THE TEAM WEARS

Shop Now USA Basketball
Donovan Mitchell

USA Men Suffer Setback In World Cup Tune-up, Fall To Australia 98-94

  • Author:
    Steve Drumwright, Red Line Editorial
  • Date:
    Aug 24, 2019

The USA Basketball’s Men’s National Team knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk as it pursued a third straight FIBA World Cup championship.

Against host Australia, which was buoyed by a thunderous crowd, the Americans found out their path indeed will be difficult.

With Patty Mills — who plays for U.S. head coach Gregg Popovich with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs — scoring his team’s final 10 points, Australia knocked off the U.S. 98-94 Saturday before 52,079 spectators at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The U.S. beat Australia 102-86 two days earlier.

Mills finished with a game-high 30 points. It was the first victory for Australia — ranked 11th by FIBA — over the U.S., which had won 78 straight in major international tournaments and exhibitions entering Saturday’s game.

“The Aussies gave us a great lesson as far as where we have to be and how we have to play in this kind of competition,” Popovich said. “So, we'll get used to that and hopefully learn.”

Kemba Walker came off the bench to score 22 points to lead the Americans, while Harrison Barnes had 20 points and six assists. Donovan Mitchell was the only other U.S. player to reach double figures with 12 points.

For Australia, Andrew Bogut had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Joe Ingles had 15 points and seven assists and Aron Baynes had 13 points. Mills, Bogut, Ingles and Baynes are among a half-dozen NBA players on the Boomers’ roster.

“Just watch tape and get more comfortable with our system,” Barnes said of what the U.S. needs to work on. “I think when you look at international play, every team  has been together for a long time, but they kind of have their calling card on what they fall back into the system, sets. For us, we're still getting to that point, we have some comfortability with it, but it's just continuing to be better at that.”

Following the game, the U.S. traveled to Sydney, where it will practice Sunday and play its final exhibition game before the World Cup. The U.S. will face Canada, ranked 23rd in the world by FIBA, on Monday. The Americans will have one more practice in Sydney before heading to China for the World Cup.

“The loss means that we need to play better,” Popovich said. “It's a measure of who you are. Nobody wins forever. This is a group of guys that's worked very hard, like I said, to get to know each other and get to know a system. And whatever comes, we can handle. Our job is to try to get better every day. We learned some things tonight. We're actually a better team now than at the start of the game, because of the knowledge from the game. So, now we move on.”

The U.S. faces the Czech Republic to open the World Cup on Sept. 1 in Shanghai. Japan and Turkey also are in the USA's Group E.

After clinging to a 49-48 lead at halftime, the Americans extended their advantage to 68-58 before the Aussies dug in. While acknowledging the Americans have pieces of their game to work on, Popovich credited the Aussies for playing an inspired game and earning a split of the two-game exhibition series.

“It's really a testament to how long they stuck together to get this accomplished tonight,” Popovich said. “So, I'm going to give them credit at both ends of the court. They executed really well and they came up with the victory.”

Guard Marcus Smart, who had not played in either of the previous two exhibitions due to a calf injury, started for the U.S. The Boston Celtics star played nine minutes, 12 seconds and scored seven points, while grabbing one rebound and handing out three assists.

Guard Kyle Kuzma did not play for the U.S. due to a left ankle injury.

 

Steve Drumwright is a journalist based in Murrieta, California. He is a freelance contributor to USAB.com on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Related Videos

Don't miss some of USA Basketball's funniest sound from 2021.

USA Basketball press conference to announce the 2022-24 USA Basketball Men's National Team Coaching Staff of USA head coach Steve Kerr, with USA MNT managing director Grant Hill.

From our family to yours, happy Thanksgiving.

Related Content

USA Basketball announced 27 athletes expected to participate at the 2022 USA Basketball Men’s U18 FIBA Americas Championship National Team training camp from May 26-June 2 in Houston.

  • Author:
    Steve Drumwright, Red Line Editorial
  • Date:
    May 25, 2022

Leading into the 2022 summer circuit of competition, men’s national team director Sean Ford and women’s national team director Briana Weiss are responsible for bringing together players and building rosters for each five-on-five tournament in which USA Basketball competes.

Torch

Tags

The USA Basketball Foundation announced a Torch Leadership Program to empower students at minority-serving institutions in sport through one-on-one mentoring and other opportunities with USA Basketball executive staff.

USA Basketball today announced 31 athletes expected to participate at the 2022 USA Basketball WU18 National Team trials at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center. Trials begin May 31 with the 12-member team expected to be announced June 3 with competition at the 2022 FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship in Buenos Aires from June 13-19.

USA Basketball today announced 40 athletes expected to participate at the 2022 WU17 National Team trials. Trials start May 26 with the 12-member team expected to be announced June 1. The team will compete at the 2022 FIBA Women’s U17 World Cup July 9-17 in Debrecen, Hungary.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?