Team USA rolls over Dominican Republic to lock up Group C
BILBAO, Spain (AP) -- They were expected to be in Barcelona. They hope to finish their trip in Madrid.
First, they had to take care of Bilbao.
The Americans wrapped up the No. 1 seed in their group Wednesday, improving to 4-0 at the Basketball World Cup with a 106-71 victory over the Dominican Republic.
Kenneth Faried, whose shooting percentage dropped after he missed three shots, scored 16 points for the U.S. DeMarcus Cousins came off the bench and added 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
The Americans will finish Group C play in Bilbao on Thursday against Ukraine - when U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski will coach against longtime friend and former NBA coach Mike Fratello - before playing their round of 16 game Saturday night in Barcelona against the fourth-place team from Group D, which is still to be determined.
A few wins there and they would play for gold in Madrid, but nobody was looking past step one.
''Obviously we have to take care of here. Nothing's given,'' forward Rudy Gay said. ''We've worked hard, we've been tested and we've overcome that, and also got some pretty big wins.''
The Americans surpassed 100 points for the second time in the tournament - and they were ''held'' to 98 points in their other two games. Even after having to overcome a halftime deficit in one game, they came in averaging a tournament-best 103.3 points and were winning by 35.7 per game.
All 12 players scored, and the ones who weren't in the game were up cheering when back-of-the-bench centers Mason Plumlee and Andre Drummond hooked up on an alley-oop in the final minutes.
''I believe everybody felt pretty good how they played tonight,'' Cousins said. ''That's what we're going to need to continue this path.''
The Americans led by only three points after one quarter but had no trouble extending that as the game went on, as the Dominicans' willingness to push the pace simply played into the Americans' hands.