Team USA Narrowly Beats Brazil, 90-86Brazil pounded the U.S. on the boards 41-25 and used a 16-0 run at the start of the second half to take a 54-52 lead, but the U.S. held on for a 90-86 victory in their third exhibition game. Brazil's dominance inside versus the U.S. is even more impressive considering that Nene, who just re-signed with the Denver Nuggets, did not play because of his knee injury. Dwight Howard led Team USA in rebounding with just five.
Anderson Varejao led the charge inside for Brazil with 11 points and 16 rebounds, but fouled out when he got a technical foul for complaining about a double dribble call against Wellington Dos Santos. Leandro Barbosa and Alex Garcia led Brazil in scoring with 14 points each. Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 16 points despite hyperextending his knee late in the first half. He did not return to action but initial reports are that the injury is not believed to be serious.
LeBron James had an off game, shooting just 3-8 from the field and finishing with only 11 points, but he did make a key basket on a baseline drive with 34 seconds left, giving the U.S. a three point lead. Kirk Hinrich scored 14 points and made all eight of his free throws. Dwyane Wade committed five fouls in only 10 minutes of playing time, contributing just four points and three assists. Like Varejao, he fouled out as a result of a technical foul, which he got for arguing about his fourth foul with 8:50 remaining in the third quarter.
This game shows why the U.S. is now requiring a three year commitment from team members and why a lot of practice is necessary for the U.S. to be successful in FIBA play. It is no longer possible for America to just throw a team together and defeat national teams that have played together for years under international rules.
posted by David Friedman @ 6:30 PM