Americans advance to World Basketball Championship quarters
Saitama, Japan (Sports Network) - The second quarter illustrated just how dominating the United States can be when clicking on all cylinders, as the Americans cruised into the quarterfinals with a 113-73 victory over Australia at the World Basketball Championships.
After a tight first period, a collection of the NBA's finest locked down an Australian club led by former No. 1 pick Andrew Bogut. Australia went over seven minutes without a field goal, with C.J. Bruton's jumper ending the drought with 2:50 remaining in the first half.
Until then, a four-point deficit ballooned to 46-26 as Bogut was bottled up on the interior. Like they have throughout the tournament, the Americans used a revolving door of girth to frustrate and wear down the opponent's best player.
The United States led 59-29 at the half.
"The way we moved the ball, the way we defended, especially in the second quarter, we played well," said forward Carmelo Anthony. "We picked up full court, we got some steals, we made them miss shots and we stuck to our game plan."
Every American scored, with Anthony posting a team-high 20 points and Joe Johnson donating 18 points. Dwyane Wade added 15 points, while Chris Bosh and Shane Battier contributed 12 points. Bosh also pulled down nine rebounds and all of Battier's points came from beyond the arc.
Next up for the United States is Germany, which survived Nigeria, 78-77, in another quarterfinal. The Germans are led by Dallas Mavericks star forward Dirk Nowitzki.
"We will not take the next two days off. We'll study Germany and we'll prepare. We don't have time to take off," stated United States head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "Next Sunday, if we're fortunate, we'll be playing for the world championship. It's not the time to take time off. It's the time to sprint, not rest. We have a lot of respect for the German team and you can be sure that we'll prepare that way. Hopefully, we'll play that way."
Bogut led Australia with 20 points and Brad Newley collected 15 points in the loss.
A three-point barrage led by Battier late in the third quarter turned the bout into a laugher. The United States was proficient from long range on the contest, making 14-of-27 from beyond the arc.
Australia was hurt by its inability to hold the basketball, committing 24 turnovers in the blowout loss.