USA crumbles in quarterfinals to miss second final in 21 years

The ‘fake dream team’ USA has come up short.

The United States failed to advance to the finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Philippines-Japan-Indonesia 2023 with a 111-113 loss to Germany in the quarterfinals on Monday (Aug. 8) at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

It was the second straight finals disappointment for the U.S. since 2002 and the first in 21 years. It was the first time in 17 years since 2006 that they were relegated to the third-place game. Their opponent is Canada.

Anthony Edwards (23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) could have been a hero, but he made a crucial mistake that ultimately cost them the game. Even with supporting shooting from Austin Reeves (21 points, 2 rebounds) and Mikal Bridges (17 points, 3 assists), the Americans couldn’t smile.

Germany was led by European legends Andreas Obst (24 points, 6 assists) and Daniel Theiss (21 points, 7 rebounds). In addition, Franz Wagner (22 points, 5 rebounds) and Dennis Schroder (17 points, 9 assists) were solid as NBA regulars. Dirk Nowitzki became the first player in history to reach the Finals.

The USA struggled with Germany’s height early in the game. Franz Wagner’s attack on the rim and Opt’s three-pointer gave them the lead. Bridges’ relentless scoring and the supporting shooting of Brunson, Edwards, and Reeves kept the game close. The referees helped, too. Two perfect blocked shots by Germany were fouled. The USA took advantage of the momentum. Hart’s offensive and defensive balance also helped. After a high-scoring first quarter, the score was 31-33.

In the second quarter, it was a scoring battle for the USA. Edwards hit a jumper and a triple, followed by a three-pointer from Reeves. Bridges, Reeves, and Brunson connected on three straight baskets to give the USA a 45-41 lead. With the one-possession game broken, Germany was forced to call timeout.

The U.S. fell behind briefly to a regrouped Germany speed game. Tice, Schroder and Franz Wagner attacked the rim to get things going again. A three-pointer by Bridges restored the momentum. Back-to-back baskets by Edwards and a Halliburton three-pointer made it 60-59 at halftime.

The second half was a bombshell for the Americans, who had already struggled with turnovers all the way to the quarterfinals. And against Germany, the turnover problem proved fatal. The Germans didn’t miss a beat. Starting with Thiess, Franz Wagner, and then Opt and Schroeder, they pummeled the panicked Americans.

The U.S. had no power at all. They couldn’t capitalize on their vaunted pressure defense. Mistake after mistake, they ended the third quarter trailing by 10 points, 84-94.

In the fourth quarter, the US defense was just as bad. They allowed Schroder to get open and couldn’t stop Franz Wagner and Moritz Wagner from attacking the rim. The double-digit deficit was deeply embarrassing midway through the fourth quarter.

In crunch time, Edwards exploded. A nice rim attack and a three-pointer shredded the German rim. For the second time in the first quarter, the referees 토토 favored the Americans. A clean blocked shot resulted in another foul. The Americans pulled within three points, 103-106.

But in the clutch, the Americans fell apart. Even with Reeves on the floor, Germany made some crucial plays, including a three-pointer by Oberst and a block by Bonga. A crucial turnover by Edwards ultimately led to the USA’s downfall, as they were unable to close out the game and were eliminated from the quarterfinals.

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