FIBA 2023: USA Beats New Zealand In World Cup Opener

US beats New Zealand 99-72 in Basketball World Cup opener. Paolo Banchero scores 21 points off the bench, Anthony Edwards adds 14.

Paolo Banchero scored 21 points off the bench, Anthony Edwards added 14 and the U.S. shook off a slow start to beat New Zealand 99-72 on Saturday in the Basketball World Cup opener for both teams.

Only Austin Reaves’ late three-pointer saved the favorites from the lowest-scoring quarter in Team USA World Cup opening games. The remaining three quarters were much easier, and the Americans enjoyed a comfortable win.

It was an international senior-level debut for all twelve players in Team USA.

Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero was the player of the game for the U.S., scoring a team-high 21 points off the bench while shooting an efficient 8-10 from the field.

The U.S. has played New Zealand four times now in senior men’s competition and won them all. The U.S. prevailed 102-56 at the 2000 Olympics, 110-62 at the 2002 World Cup and 98-71 at the 2014 World Cup.

Up Next for New Zealand is Jordan, while USA Faces Greece (without Giannis Antetokounmpo) on Monday.

The 2023 FIBA World Cup for men’s basketball begin on Aug 25 – Sept 10, and is co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

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