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Team USA wins big as Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson combine for 17 points

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2023 FIBA World Cup - USA v Slovenia Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Mikal Bridges scored nine points and Cam Johnson eight as Team USA played an up-and-down that ended way up, beating Slovenia, 92-62, in a FIBA World Cup warm-up played at Carpena Sports Palace in Malaga, Spain. Slovenia played without the Mavs’ All-NBA star Luka Doncic who was held out as a precaution after hurting his left leg in another exhibition game Friday night. Slovenia was also missing Nuggets forward Vlatko Cancar who earlier in World Cup preps blew out his left knee.

In the two exhibition games, both wins, the Americans have beaten Puerto Rico and Slovenia by an average of 36.5 points.

Bridges also grabbed two rebounds and handed out two assists while shooting 4-of-7, including 1-of-3 from deep. Johnson had four rebounds and one assist, shooting 3-of-7 including 2-of-6 outside the arc. Both played fewer minutes than in the USA warm-up on Monday when they combined for 29 points. The two Nets were among nine Americans who scored seven or more points Saturday. The T’Wolves Anthony Edwards led the way with 15 points. Jalen Brunson of the Knicks finished with 11.

There were highlights...

The “twins” will be back on the court Sunday, going up against Spain, FIBA’s top-ranked national team, in Malaga as FEB, the Spanish basketball federation, celebrates its 100th anniversary. Game starts at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be carried on FOX Sports.

“One more stage of our preparation against the strongest rival in the world,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.

Steve Kerr liked what he saw from the unselfishness he sees in his young charges ... and even suggested they may be unselfish to a fault.

“We put together the team with the idea of having a lot of good passer and playmakers,” Kerr said. “And with this team we’ve seen through the first two exhibition games, everybody can pass. And so we really want to push the tempo and attack closeouts because once we put it on the floor, we know these guys will distribute it and move it all over again.

“And you know, I thought we almost overdid it tonight. I thought at times we had over threes and we drove and kicked it down, which as a coach, you never want to criticize your players for that because you’re always trying to get them involved.”