Team USA turned up its intensity in the second half and outscored Turkey in the last 20 minutes of action en route to a victory 98-77 on Aug. 31 in Bilbao, Spain.
Down 40-35 at the half, the U.S. opened up the third quarter on a 7-2 run to knot the game at 42. However, Turkey continued its hot-shooting from the perimeter and knocked down a couple three-pointers to regain lead 51-46 at the 7:06 mark.
The U.S. , thanks in large part to Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried inside play, went on a 6-0 run to again tie things up (51-51) with 5:37 remaining in the quarter. Davis, who did not score in the first half, tallied 9 of the Americans ‘ first 16 points in the period. Davis finished the game with 19 points, on 8-of-11 shooting, and six rebounds.
The teams then essentially traded buckets over the next 3:17 to make the score 59-59. The U.S . closed the quarter on a 7-1 run with the most important coming on a Steph Curry triple in transition from the left corner. The U.S. took a 66-60 lead, which they would not relinquish, into the fourth quarter.
The U.S. continued its splendid second half play at the beginning of the final stanza, scoring the first 10 points of the period. The red, white and blue increased its lead to as many as 26 in the last quarter.
Faried led the way for the Americans, who struggled the entire first half with Turkey’s matchup zone, with 22 points and eight rebounds. James Harden added 14 points and seven assists while Kyrie Irving chipped in with 13 points and five dimes. DeMarcus Cousins had 11 points.
The U.S. was outrebounded 34-32 but forced 28 turnovers and turned them into 30 points. The Americans also held a 26-4 advantage in fast break points and outscored Turkey56-32 in the paint.
Cenk Akyol led Turkey (1-1) with 12 points while New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik contributed six points and eight rebounds.
The U.S. (2-0) has now 55 straight international games dating back to 2006. They have Labor Day off and will play New Zealand (0-2) on Sept. 2.