Team USA makes a surprise attack on the Czech Republic to secure an 88-67 victory in the group E onset game on Sunday. This came up few minutes after a warning which was followed by Myles Turner blocking a shot at the rim. From that time, a tone was set, and the team pressed hard on Czech.
The U.S. team seemed to put more emphasis on Sunday, right from the onset. Donovan Mitchell led American by scoring 16 points. U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said that they have to invest in the defense, to enhance their chances. Gregg Popovich started Mitchell, Walker, Tatum, Barnes, Turner and Mason, the only players from the previous team that won the gold medal.
Harrison Barnes scored 14 points, Kemba Walker 13 and Jayson Tatum finished with 10 points. Turner made seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
Former Washington forward Tomas Satoransky led Czechs with 17 points. In the fourth quarter, Czech scored four points to get to 66-52, but the Americans continued raging. Walker made a 3-pointer to stop mini-run, he found Mitchell at the corner for another 3-pointer, and the score raised to 72-52.
Czech started by a 9-0 run, but Americans came to their senses and kick-started a 29-9 run, before going to half time with a 43-29 edge. They relied heavily on defense, in over a 10-minutes, Czechs went 4-20 with seven turnovers.
The Sunday game was Czechs first World Cup games since the tournament was named world championship. In the past games, Czechs went 0-3 against the U.S.
In 18 FIBA World Cup, U.S. has won all the opening games. They have an average of 22.6 points lead in all opening games since 1950.
Czechs will play against Japan on Tuesday in Shanghai
The U.S. will play against Turkey on Tuesday in Shanghai