Team USA loses Kuzma (ankle), finalizes roster

Team USA loses Kuzma (ankle), finalizes roster

Team USA will rely heavily on its shooting, and a cold shooting night in a one-game elimination tournament could send the Americans home disappointed.

But quick points at the re-start from veteran Bogut drew Australia level and in a seesawing second quarter they traded buckets before a late two-pointer from San Antonio Spurs' Derrick White gave the visitors a 49-48 first-half lead.

The US had won 78 games straight in major worldwide tournaments and exhibitions before Saturday's World Cup exhibition matchup. With bigs like Tobias Harris, Kevin Love and Anthony Davis opting out at their earliest convenience - Kuzma looked set to take up a primary role on the offensive side of the floor, his deficiencies masked by the nuclear presence of P.J. Tucker.

The United States' almost 13-year dominance in the global men's basketball came to a shocking crash Saturday when Team USA suffering its first defeat since 2006 at the hands of Australia.


"Nobody wins forever", USA Basketball coach Gregg Popovich said.

"They wanted it more than us tonight", USA and Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker said. "This is just one step towards our progress and ultimate goal of creating history and winning a medal, so we're locked in on that focus, for sure".

Kemba Walker led the American squad with 22 points and after the game, he felt the loss would be a good teaching tool going forward.

Although numerous United States' top National Basketball Association stars skipped the series and the World Cup, Australia's win thrilled the 52,079 fans - a record crowd for the sport at the stadium - and gave the Boomers hope of claiming a medal in China.


While Popovich said trimming the roster down to 12 is never easy, clearly some players helped him out by withdrawing on their own. The team, however, did get a boost with the return of Smart, who missed three weeks with a calf injury.

The Boomers won 98-94 to end the American's 78-game winning streak in front of 52,079 fans - a record crowd for the sport at Docklands Stadium.

Team USA concludes its tour Sunday in Sydney when it faces Canada, which will meet Australia in its FIBA World Cup opener in China on September 1.

Jock Landale (L) impressed Popovich.


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