Team USA’s downward spiral continued Thursday in the World Cup with Serbia beating the Americans, 94-89, in the first of two consolation games they’ll have to endure after being eliminated from the medal round Wednesday. The US will play its last game Saturday vs. Poland to determine rankings headed into the Tokyo Olympics next year. The winner will wind up in the seventh position.
“We’ve committed to this from Day One,” Joe Harris said. “To get all the way to this point and just kind of have it abruptly come up short, it really stings.”
Indeed, the Americans are 5-2, but. like Serbia, they had hoped to be playing in the championship game on Monday. Team USA’s loss to France Wednesday ended that possibility.
Harris, who started and played 22 minutes, had what was easily his worst game in Cup play, finishing with four points on 1-of-6 shooting, including 1-of-4 from deep. He also had four rebounds and an assist. He was -17 in +/-, tied with Brook Lopez for the game low.
Serbia started off hot, hot, hot, leading 32-7 at the end of the first quarter. A 33-12 run in the second quarter brought the US to within four at the half, 44-40. Serbia shot 64% in the first quarter and the U.S. shot 19%; in the second quarter, it was the Americans shooting 72%, Serbia 31%, and it stayed relatively tight the rest of the way.
Harrison Barnes scored 22 for the U.S., which got 18 from Kemba Walker and 16 from Khris Middleton. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 28 for Serbia.