Team USA was shocked by Nigeria 90-87
Vegas- Team USA was defeated by Nigeria 90-87.
In their first exhibition game against Nigeria, Team USA struggled a bit in the first half. It looked like Team USA's chemistry was not in sync. Bradley Beal, Jerami Grant, and Draymond Green combined for five turnovers in the half. After being down by five early in the second quarter, Team USA went on a 12-6 run to take the lead. Damian Lillard hit a three pointer with five minutes left in the half to push Team USA's lead to 10, which was the largest lead at the time.
With under three minutes left in the half, Zach LaVine had to go in the locker room after he twisted his ankle trying to block a three point attempt by Nigeria. After LaVine went in the locker room, Nigeria went on a 12-4 run to cut Team USA's two at half, 43-41.
Team USA went on a 10-0 run at the start of the second half to go back up in double figures, but it was short lived. Nigeria hit three consecutive three point shots to cut Team USA's lead back to two at the mid-way point in the third. The physicality of Nigeria made Team USA a little uneasy with driving to the basket and forced them to take bad shots. For the first time in a quarter, Team USA was down.
In a grind it our fourth quarter, Team USA was a little bit more aggressive with attacking Nigeria's 2-3 zone. Kevin Durant and Lillard had some critical steals late in the game,which turned to fast-break points for Team USA. Down by eight with under two minutes left in regulation, Durant started to take over. Durant scored eight points to cut Nigeria's lead to a one possession game with .44 seconds left. Team USA missed a three point shot with .13 seconds left in regulation to drop their first exhibition game.