ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Team USA is entering the FIBA World Cup after a perfect exhibition season that ended with the toughest of tests.
Germany has a roster with several capable NBA players and led the Americans by as many as 16 points in the third quarter Sunday, but a committed defensive effort and a couple of fine individual performances on offense were enough to lift USAB to a 99-91 triumph in the fifth and final friendly before the Cup begins Aug. 26 against New Zealand in Manila.
Anthony Edwards is steamrolling toward the Cup and scored an exhibition-season-high 34 points Sunday. His 3-ball with 5:18 tied the game at 86, Mikal Bridges’ 3-pointer put the Americans ahead for good with 2:13 remaining and two free throws by Edwards with 1:20 left put them ahead by 5. His turnaround jumper with 59.4 seconds was the closer.
Mikal sinks it for the lead!
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 20, 2023
Tyrese Haliburton scored 11 of his 16 points in the third quarter, igniting Team USA’s comeback, and Austin Reaves contributed 16 points off the bench.
Edwards, the Americans’ leading scorer in exhibition play, shot 11-of-21 from the field and 8-of-8 at the line with four 3s. He added six boards and a shocking two-hand slam over Daniel Theis in the first quarter.
The Germans went more than six minutes without scoring, not breaking through until there were less than 50 seconds to go, and Team USA had settled it. The Americans were on an 18-0 run at the time.
Franz Wagner paced Germany with 17 points, while Dennis Schröder (16 points, 10 assists) and Theis (12 points, 13 rebounds) each produced a double-double.
This story will be updated.
(Photo: Juan Ocampo / NBAE via Getty Images)