The US is headed to the medal spherical of the Basketball World Cup, bouncing again from its first lack of the event in emphatic trend.
Mikal Bridges scored 14 of his 24 factors within the first half, Tyrese Haliburton added 18 and the U.S. was hermetic for lengthy stretches defensively on the best way to simply beating Italy 100-63 on Tuesday night time within the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
The win ensures the fifteenth top-four end for the Individuals (5-1) in 19 World Cups. They’ll play both Germany (5-0) or Latvia (4-1) in Friday’s semifinals; these two groups play their quarterfinal recreation in Manila on Wednesday.
It was 46-24 USA by halftime, with Austin Reaves offering the exclamation level with a follow-slam that had teammates out of their seats. The margin was that huge regardless of Anthony Edwards — the group’s main scorer getting into Tuesday, averaging simply over 20 factors within the first 5 video games of the World Cup — not even getting on the scoresheet till the primary possession of the third quarter.
His heroics weren’t wanted. Not a lot on the offensive finish was. The protection — which was shredded for 110 factors in a six-point loss to Lithuania on Sunday — held Italy to six of 31 taking pictures over the ultimate quarter-hour of the primary half. Lithuania began 9 for 9 from 3-point vary vs. the U.S.; Italy began 2 for 21 on Tuesday.
Simone Fontecchio led Italy (4-2) with 18 factors.
It was the quarterfinal spherical the place all of it went incorrect for the U.S. on the World Cup 4 years in the past in China. A loss to France within the Spherical of 8 eradicated the Individuals from medal competition and began a free-fall all the best way to seventh place, the worst end ever by a U.S. group in a serious males’s worldwide occasion.
That gained’t occur this time. Win Friday, and the U.S. is assured of a medal. Win Friday and Sunday, and the Individuals can be flying residence with gold.
Italy had crushed the U.S. solely twice in 14 earlier tries on the senior males’s nationwide stage, each instances on the world championships — which FIBA now calls the World Cup. The primary was in 1970 on the best way to a fifth-place end for the U.S. The second was in 1978, in Manila no much less, a defeat that helped relegate the Individuals to a fifth-place end that yr as effectively.
The Italians hung round, for a couple of minutes. The U.S. didn’t get into an early gap — as has been the case a number of instances on this World Cup — however the lead was solely 10-8 when the Individuals went to the second unit, which has been a power all summer season.
And it was once more. It was 24-14 after one, the lead was out to 22 by the half and the countdown to Friday was quickly on.