In preparation for the Olympics, American basketball players lost two consecutive Test games for the first time. After 87:90 against Nigeria there was an 83:91 against Australia on Monday night.
Since the Pros from the National Basketball Association (NBA) first played for the U.S. national team in 1992, Las Vegas’ bankruptcy was only their fourth defeat in 58 Test games. “We’re still working on becoming a team,” said NBA star Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers after the showdown in which he was Team USA’s best pitcher with 22 points. Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets has 17 points, while Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards has 12.
Coach Gregg Popovich appeared angry at the post-match press conference and the reporter threw a fight of words, but insisted he was satisfied with his team. “We were better today, I was happy with what I saw,” said the 72-year-old who coaches the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA. “We got tired in the second half.”
In the first inning, the United States led 46:35 against the Australians led by Patty Mills of Tottenham, who finished with 22 points, Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz (17 points) and Mathis Thieball (12) of the Philadelphia 76ers. “We’ll look at this and learn from it,” Popovich said. Before the Olympics kick off against France, the United States will test against Argentina, again against Australia and finally against world champion Spain.