Kemba Walker scores 23 points in Team USA’s 102-86 exhibition victory over Australia
Team USA raced to a strong start to their overseas exhibition campaign, running past Australia 102-86 in their second exhibition game prior to the start of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Boston Celtics point guard Kemba Walker led the way with 23 points as head coach Gregg Popovich started the speedy dynamo along with Donovan Mitchell, Joe Harris, Jaylen Brown and Myles Turner — a different rotation than last week’s exhibition tilt against Spain.
Walker took the bulk of the shots, canning 9-of-22 from the field while racking up six rebounds (three offensive).
The first two quarters were a tight race, as Team USA could only muster a one-point lead by halftime before hitting the locker room with a change of mentality:
The Americans would race to a 32-18 third quarter, snatching a 15-point advantage entering the fourth quarter as their defensive intensity picked up, which helped turn the tide of this game.
Turner put up a strong 15 points and 14 rebounds at the center spot, while Kyle Kuzma (12 points, 4-of-5 from 3) and Jayson Tatum (11 points, four assists, three rebounds) made great impressions off the bench.
The lone member not to play was Marcus Smart once again, now having missed the previous game against Spain and the White vs. Blue scrimmage.
The Boomers went with an NBA-heavy starting lineup with captain Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles, Jock Landale and Aron Baynes. Mills and supersub Chris Goulding led the way for Australia with 19 points apiece.
These two teams will meet once again on Saturday in Melbourne as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup.