Team USA takes down Spain in first preparation game

Ross Houston
August 19, 2019

Right now, the players that are guaranteed to make it are Kemba Walker, Donavan Mitchell, Khris Middleton, Myles Turner, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Brook Lopez, and Harrison Barnes.

Following Team USA's 90-81 victory over Spain in an exhibition game at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday night, Miller told The Bee all 14 remaining players would accompany the team to Australia for upcoming exhibition games. Kemba Walker finished with 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the US and Tatum had 11 points. Team USA plays its first game on September 1 against the Czech Republic. "So all those things came together in us inviting him and he's played well".

Marc Gasol, who helped the Toronto Raptors to the National Basketball Association title last season after a mid-season trade from Memphis, led Spain with 19 points. Walker, who led USA Basketball in rebounding and assists, also tallied two steals and will certainly be one of USA basketball's most important pieces moving forward. This might not be the dominant USA group that we've seen in previous global tournaments, but they showed why they're still the favorites in the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

Team USA displayed a feathery shooting touch in its intrasquad scrimmage, and that carried over to the win over Spain on Friday. The lead was in double digits for the entire second half.

Phoenix's Ricky Rubio scored 16 for Spain, and Llull finished with 11. Even with Popovich using a 12-man rotation in the first half, the Americans were clicking nearly from the outset. That trimmed the US roster to 14 in line for 12 spots on the World Cup squad, and all 14 are going to Australia before final cuts get made. They connected on 61 percent of their field goals in the first half and 7-of-11 from deep (63.6 percent).

"I think we competed, did a good job", Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.

His departure left 14 candidates for 12 spots on coach Gregg Popovich's squad that will try to capture a third straight World Cup title.

Llull's three-pointer with less than five minutes to play trimmed Spain's deficit to eight points, but the United States responded with an 8-0 scoring run. The Americans open their World Cup campaign on September 1 against the Czech Republic.

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