After dominating Group C in the group play portion of the FIBA World Cup, Mason Plumlee and Team USA went up against a talented Mexico team in the 16-team knock out round. Of course, we had our eyes on Brooklyn Nets point guard Jorge Gutierrez and his ability to play against some of the best NBA players the league has to offer.
Gutierrez and Mexico struggled to keep up with Team USA. Despite holding USA to just 86 points, Mexico didn't have the offensive firepower to match up with the red, white and blue.
Final score: USA 86, Mexico 63.
The hot offense and suffocating defense for Team USA gave them just the kind of start they had hoped for. After the first quarter of play, they led 23-13 behind six points apiece for Stephen Curry and Kenneth Faried. As the half played on, Team USA continued to assert themselves on both sides of the ball, forcing Mexico to shoot 39% from the field and commit 10 turnovers.
Team USA led 42-27 after the first half. James Harden led the way with 12 points on 3-5 shooting. Jorge Gutierrez logged 12-first half minutes and scored five points on 2-4 shooting. The other Net participating in this game, Mason Plumlee, didn't receive any first half minutes.
Things really opened up for Team USA in the second half. They outscored Mexico 24-11 in the third quarter alone and led 66-38 after three quarters. Like most games for Team USA during the tournament, this game was over before the fourth quarter even started.
Team USA went onto win 86-63 behind a 20 point effort from Stephen Curry. Curry's teammate, Klay Thompson, chipped in 15 points on 6-14 shooting. For Mexico, Gustavo Ayon had himself a day, scoring 25 points and eight rebounds in 36 minutes of action.
Plumlee vs. Gutierrez: Jorge Gutierrez received the minutes, but Mason Plumlee's team grabbed the victory. Gutierrez finished with seven points, three rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes of action. He shot just 3-8 from the field. As for Plumlee, he received six minutes late in the game and grabbed one rebound.
Team USA will move onto the Quarterfinal round where they will face off against the winner of Dominican Republic vs. Slovenia.