BILBAO, Spain ó Kenneth Faried scored 22 points, Anthony Davis all of his 19 in the second half, and the U.S. rebounded from a rare deficit at halftime to beat Turkey 98-77 on Sunday in the Basketball World Cup.
A night after beating Finland by 59 in its biggest rout ever while using NBA players in the former world championship, the Americans couldnít take control against Turkey until early in the fourth quarter.
They trailed 40-35 at halftime and Turkey led by six early in the third before the Americans could finally get the game into the quicker tempo they prefer and pull away to win the rematch of the 2010 gold-medal game in Istanbul.
But it was a much tougher one than expected after the Americans hammered Finland 114-55 while Turkey was being outplayed for most of its opener by New Zealand before pulling out the victory.
James Harden added 14 points for the U.S.
It was tied at 59 with 3:10 left in the third before the Americans closed the period with a 7-1 burst to lead 66-60 after Fariedís basket. The U.S. then ran off 10 in a row to open the fourth and open a 76-60 cushion.
The Americans havenít lost since the semifinals of the 2006 world championship and outside of their victories over Spain in the last two Olympic gold-medal games, havenít been in danger much since then.
But they needed a long time to start looking like the team that is so considered the tournament favorite by so many.
It was 16-all after one, and Turkey controlled the tempo in the second quarter, getting to the foul line against a U.S. team that showed moments of frustration with the pace and some calls that went against them. Baris Hersek and Emir Preldzic made consecutive 3-pointers late in the half to give Turkey a 38-32 lead, and it was 40-35 when the teams went to the locker room.
Unable to force the turnovers or missed shots to get their transition game going, the Americans looked ordinary in the halfcourt. Davis, who scored 17 points in the opener and had been the Americansí best player this summer, was scoreless with one rebounds in the half, playing just 10 1/2 minutes while picking up two fouls. Derrick Rose showed his timing still isnít back after a nearly two-year absence, missing both shots, turning it over twice and not getting an assist.
Rose didnít get back into the game until the U.S. had opened the big fourth-quarter lead.
The Americans are off Monday before continuing pool play Tuesday against winless New Zealand.
Notice about comments:
Aiken Standard is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point.