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Joe Harris survives first cut of Team USA paring

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USAB - Blue v White Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Joe Harris was only supposed to be part of USA Basketball’s practice squad this week, but once again, the Nets swingman surprised and is now headed to L.A. with the rest of Team USA, America’s national team. He will take part in the next phase of the team’s training camp -- three practices and an exhibition game against Spain next Friday.

Harris played 20 minutes —the second most on the team— for Team USA in its scrimmage vs. USA Select, the USA Basketball practice squad. He scored five points on 2-of-4 shooting, including 1-of-3 from beyond the line.

Harris is now one of 17 players in competition for the final 12 roster spots as Gregg Popovich prepares the team for the FIBA World Cup, which begins August 31 in China. Harris is the only one of the 17 with an NBA career 3-point percentage above 40. In fact, Harris, 27, led the NBA in 3-point shooting last season at 47.4 percent and won the 3-point shooting contest at All-Star Weekend, besting Steph Curry. Harris has the the 11th best 3-point percentage —at 42.7 percent— in NBA history.

Among those who were cut from Team USA to accommodate the promotion of Harris and a couple of other practice team players were ex-Net Thaddeus Young of the Bulls and Bam Adebayo of the Heat.

It’s expected that Popovich will cut the roster to 15 or fewer next weekend before the team heads off to Australia for two exhibition games vs the Boomers, Australia’s national team on August 22 and 24. The games will be played in Melbourne’s 57,000-seat Marvel Stadium. Popovich could wait until then to get down to a 12-man limit.

In the Team USA-USA Select scrimmage, Jarrett Allen also played 20 minutes and also scored five points while grabbing two rebounds.

Nets executives and coaches were in Las Vegas this week to support Harris and Allen, led by Sean Marks.