Day 2 of FIBA Worlds: Durant, Gay lead US Past Slovenia
The combination of Chauncey Billups and Derrick Rose in the backcourt is proving to be a dynamic set of playmakers for team USA, setting up pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops to perfect with Kevin Durant and Rudy Gay. Both Billups and Rose ended the 99-77 win with 5 assists each. Durant and Gay were the recipient of quiet a few of those passes as they knocked down mid-range jumpers all game long for the US team; Durant led all scorers with 22 points and Gay chipped in with 16.
Kevin Love added a double-double off the bench with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while a fellow UCLA alumni, Russell Westbrook played just as well as a sub, creating for others and slipping through the defense to score some easy buckets at the rim for himself too.
Team USA faces off against Brazil on Monday afternoon in a matchup of the unbeatens.
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Slovenia was led by Bostjan Nachbar's 13 points. The American defense stymied Goran Dragic, a backup guard for the Phoenix Suns, led the team with 16 points in the team's opening round game. He was held in check in this one, scoring just 7 points on 2-of-8 shooting and turning the ball over a team-high 3 times.
In the Tournament's first overtime game, Germany outlasted Serbia 82-81 in double OT. Jan-Hendrik Jagla scored a game-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and collected a team-high 9 rebounds as well. Team Serbia was led by the 20 points of Kosta Perovic, formerly of the Golden State Warriors. Milenko Tepic and Milan Macvan, two potential future-NBA players provided a spark off the bench with 14 points and 9 points respectively.
Croatia bounced back from its thrashing against the US by defeating Iran by 21 points, 75-54. The Iranians were led by Memphis center, Hamed Haddadi, who recorded 27 points and 9 rebounds, both game-highs. On the Croatian side, Roko Ukic and Ante Tomic proved to be too much as an outside-inside combination.
After dropping their opener against France, Spain downed New Zealand 101-84. Marc Gasol led the Spaniards with 22 points, while Rudy Fernandez posted a double-double with 12 boards and 12 points. Ricky Rubio's talents were on full display as he wowed the crowd, and even some of his teammates on his way to racking up 11 assists.
Luis Scola did most of the damage for Team Argentina, scoring 31 of his team's 74 points and every one of them were needed to edge Australia's 72 points. Scola also corralled 9 rebounds. Joe Ingles and Patty Mills put their perimeter skills on exhibition, knocking down six 3s between the two of them. Mills thrived in transition, sprinting down the court, while Ingles was able to spot up and shoot from the perimeter.