Team USA advances to the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Championship in Turkey by beating Angola 121-66. The United States men’s basketball team is composed of NBA players but none of them bear the names Kobe, LeBron, Dwayne, Melo or Dwight. Still, the expectations are high out of the American squad. They have not been impressive in their group qualifier matches, barely edging Brazil 70-68 after a Leandro Barbosa miss at the buzzer.
On Monday, the Americans showed some of the things why they should be installed as tournament favorites. Coach Mike Krzyzewski got more mileage from the bench this time and the team forced their opponents to turnovers that they converted into fastbreak points.
Team USA showed from the get-go that it was a mismatch playing the Angolans. Chauncey Billups played shooting guard despite being a natural point guard in the NBA, contributing 19 points. Kevin Durant, who has been their most consistent player, had 17 points. Eric Gordon and Rudy Gay also added 17 points apiece, providing balanced offense for the US squad.