Final Score: United States 112, Puerto Rico 86
In its final tuneup before heading to Spain next week to play in the FIBA World Cup, the United States had all it could handle in the first half from a Puerto Rico team with an NBA-tested backcourt.
But the Americans used a dominant third quarter to pull away Friday night for a 112-86 win before a rowdy crowd at Madison Square Garden.
Stephen Curry led seven USA players in double figures with 20 points.
Check out the full box score here, click below to check out a photo gallery from the game and read on for a recap and highlights. You can also check out a full highlight reel in the video above.
Derrick Rose Had 6 Points & 4 Assists Off the Bench
Derrick Rose, who missed the Americans’ win over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday with knee soreness, scored 6 points and had 4 assists in 13 minutes off the bench.
“Off to Spain to get the Gold,” he said while leaving the arena.
Stephen Curry Hit 4 3s & Missed Only 1 Shot
Curry’s stat line was about as impressive as you’ll find in 18 minutes: 6-for-7 from the field, 4-for-5 from 3 and 4-for-4 from the line for 20 points, 4 assists and no turnovers. Check out the video above for highlights from Curry’s night.
All 5 USA Starters Scored in Double Figures
All five U.S. starters scored in double figures, though not everyone had a stat line as pretty as Curry’s.
James Harden scored 13 points but needed 11 field goal attempts to do it and went 0-for-5 from 3-point range. Kenneth Faried had a much more efficient 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting and added a team-high-tying 5 rebounds. Anthony Davis had 10 points and 5 rebounds and Kyrie Irving had another impressive game with 11 points and a team-high 6 assists.
Rudy Gay scored 13 points and Klay Thompson had 12 (3 of which came on this buzzer-beater at the end of the first half) off the bench.
Team USA Pulled Away in the 3rd Quarter
What a difference a quarter makes. After Puerto Rico hung around throughout the first half and headed into the half down by only 5, the United States played a dominant third quarter and stretched the lead to 20.
As the quarter winded down, Derrick Rose hesitated, then kicked it to Rudy Gay on the left wing for a 3 that made it 87-67. Watch the video of the play above.
The U.S. outscored Puerto Rico 35-20 in the quarter.
JJ Barea & Carolos Arroyo Kept Puerto Rico in it
The United States scored the first seven points of the second quarter, but Puerto Rico came right back and kept it close throughout the quarter, getting to within 49-47 with 4 seconds left in the half.
JJ Barea and Carlos Arroyo scored 10 points apiece in the half to lead all scorers. Kyrie Irving, the star of the Americans’ blowout win over the Dominican Republic Wednesday, had 9 to lead the U.S.
Derrick Rose, who missed the Dominican Republic game with knee soreness, played 7 minutes off the bench and scored 4 points.
Klay Thompson hit a 3 at the buzzer to give the Americans a 5-point lead heading into the break.
Puerto Rico Was Hot Early & the Game Was Tied After 1 Quarter
The Timberwolves’ JJ Barea, the only active NBA player on Puerto Rico’s roster, was hot early, keeping Puerto Rico in it.
With Barea and former NBA veteran Carlos Arroyo leading the way, the visitors led for much of the first quarter and tied it at 24-24 on a put-back dunk by Rick Sanchez to end the quarter.
Barea has it on. Just hit a desperation J at the end of the shot clock
— Darryn Albert (@dirnted13) August 22, 2014
The JJ Barea 40-point game is in full swing.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) August 22, 2014
Arroyo and Barea look more fluid than the USA guards
— royal th!ckn3$$ (@DilpreetMayall) August 22, 2014
Gordon Hayward, Kyle Korver, Chandler Parsons & Damian Lillard Were Cut After the Game
Jazz forward Gordon Hayward was the first player to learn he’d been cut following the game. ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted the news Friday night. The team announced its full roster for the trip to Spain at 1 a.m. Saturday, with Kyle Korver, Chandler Parsons and Damian Lillard joining Hayward on the cut list.
You can look at the whole roster here.
USA Basketball just announced World Cup roster at 1AM and removes Damian Lillard, Chandler Parsons and Kyle Korver along with Gordon Hayward
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 23, 2014
The Americans will play an exhibition game Tuesday against Slovenia in the Canary Islands before opening the FIBA World Cup next Friday against Finland.
Pregame: Anthony Davis & Co. Getting Ready