The United States played the Dominican Republic in the second exhibition game in preparation for the inaugural FIBA World Cup Wednesday night, and you could argue that the friendly carried a little more meaning considering the fact that the two squads will face off in group play on September 3.
Well, after a 105-62 drubbing we now know you can go ahead and chalk it up as a win for a USA. If we're being honest with ourselves we could've probably already done that, but now we know for sure that the Dominican Republic is really, really terrible at basketball.
The Dominicans held an early 6-4 lead, but were quickly buried by a 14-0 USA run. With just a minute to go in the first quarter the Americans held a commanding 28-12 advantage, but a Francisco Garcia three from the corner and a James Feldeine steal and slam saw the Dominican Republic trim the lead to eleven at the end of the first. If the Dominicans felt any momentum from the quick 5-0 spurt, it didn't carry over into the following quarter, as the USA kept its foot on the gas and went into halftime with a 53-31 lead.
The huge advantage on the scoreboard provided an opportunity for the USA coaches to experiment with lineups in the second half. Gordon Hayward and Andre Drummond each got their first extended run of the exhibition series, and a lineup featuring both Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins gave us a peek at what Coach K might have in store against the bigger teams in the tournament such as the host Spain, which boasts the Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka.
The United States dominated in all facets of the game, out-shooting the Dominican Republic 58 percent to 34 percent and out-rebounding them 44-25. The win was so emphatic that the USA totaled more assists (24) than the Dominican Republic had made field goals (23).
Statistically, Kyrie Irving was the USA's most impressive player of the night, racking up 12 points, five assists and four rebounds while shooting 5/5 from the field and playing 16 minutes without a turnover. DeMar DeRozan was the United States co-leader in scoring with 13 points, and also hauled in six rebounds and dished out five assists. Rudy Gay made up for a sub-par debut against Brazil, scoring 13 points on 5/9 from the field and blocking three shots. The Dominicans were led by Francisco Garcia and James Feldeine. Both players scored 14 points.
The USA will play another exhibition in New York on Friday at 6 p.m. central, this time against Puerto Rico. The exhibition will be the final friendly before the Americans depart for Spain, where they will take on Slovenia on August 26 before beginning World Cup play against Finland on August 30.