ABU DHABI– Ending the game on a thrilling 18-0 run, the United States completed a resounding comeback victory over Germany 99-91, on Sunday August 20 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Overcoming a 16-point second half deficit, Anthony Edwards and Austin Reaves propelled the Red, White and Blue to a captivating win, finishing the Team USA Showcase with a flawless 5-0 record.
Germany was in control in the first half. Former Los Angeles Laker Dennis Schroder was slicing to the basket at will, as he and Johannes Voigtmann were knocking down three pointers as well.
In contrast, the United States offense early was sluggish, settling for long jumpers in lieu of driving to the basket. Team USA figured it out in the fourth quarter thankfully.
The USA now owns a 13-0 record against Germany. The team has gone undefeated in pre-World Cup exhibitions, and in 6-of-7 tune ups, and has a 28-1 record since 1994.
The two teams traded leads and ended the first quarter tied at 26. In the second, the Germans used a 9-0 run to take the first double-digit lead of the game (52-42). The Americans trailed at half, 46-54.
Austin Reaves led a big American run to cut the deficit down to four heading into the fourth. Reaves scored a personal-best 16 points (5-9 FG, 2-2 3FG, 4-7 FT). He led the team in 3-point shooting in the USA Basketball Showcase by hitting 57.1% (8-14 3FG) of his 3s.
Reaves, the second year Los Angeles Lakers guard, who was undrafted out of Oklahoma, has become a star this Summer. His shooting, his tenacity and passing has turned him into a overnight sensation.
In Las Vegas, fans shrieked his name whenever he entered the game. Post game, thousands of fans swarmed him for autographs as he was exiting the court.
The Germans took control late in the second quarter and pushed their lead to as much as 16 late in the third after a bucket by Johannes Voigtmann. That high point was short-lived, however, as Tyrese Haliburton and Austin Reaves led a big American run to cut the deficit down to four heading into the fourth.
Anthony Edwards was dominant and superb, single-handedly putting Team USA on his back. The superstar for the Minnesota Timberwolves scored 14 of his game-high 34 points in the fourth quarter, matching the Germans’ total as a team by himself. His 3-pointer with 5:18 to play tied the game.
In the fourth, the Americans took control of the game after the 6:58 mark by holding the Germans scoreless until the final minute of play. The USA’s 18-0 run gave the team its biggest lead (95-86) and catapulted them to the win. Anthony Edwards scored 12 points in the quarter.
In the waning minutes, when the game was still on the line, Edwards free throws and mid-range jumper a few minutes later sealed the win.
The U.S. will now begin its quest for a sixth FIBA Men’s World Cup gold medal. Seeded in Group C, the team will face New Zealand in its opening game Aug. 26.