clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges combine for 29 as Team USA blows out Puerto Rico

Team USA dominated in the second half and Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges were big parts of what became a blowout.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

2023 FIBA World Cup - USA v Puerto Rico Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Cam Johnson scored 15 and Mikal Bridges 14 in their debuts with Team USA in Las Vegas Monday night, playing big roles in the Americans’ blowout 117=74 win over Puerto Rico in the first of five FIBA World Cup warm-ups.

The two young Nets combined to shoot 13-of-19 (1-of-6 from deep) and played solid defense in the “friendly” game at T-Mobile Arena as Team USA blew up a close game in the second half, outscoring Puerto Rico, 67-31, simply dominating the Puerto Ricans across the board.

Head coach Steve Kerr attributed the win to the team’s unselfishness.

“We’ve got such good passers up and down the roster,” Kerr said post-game. “The game really opens up because they know how to get each other involved. When you have passing at every position, it makes [playing] defense so difficult. That’s what makes this team so much fun to coach: The way these guys move it and share it creates great energy. Tonight was a lot of fun.”

For Johnson, whose 15 points tied Anthony Edwards for the team high, and Bridges, it was their first time in red, white and blue. Seven players finished in double figures. Like the two Nets, none had played for USA Basketball at a senior level before.

Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 12, Jalen Brunson scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Bobby Portis and Brandon Ingram each scored 11 for the Americans. Tyrese Haliburton finished with 12 assists for the U.S., which also held a 53-27 rebounding edge.

Johnson also finished with six rebounds, a steal and a block while Bridges had five boards, an average assist and three steals.

Team USA took advantage of its youth and athleticism, running and dunking the ball while playing tight defense. The two Nets provided some of the games top highlights, particularly in the second half...

Puerto Rico, FIBA’s 20th ranked team, simply couldn’t keep up with the US, and at one point watched as the Americans ripped off 20 straight points in the third quarter.

Among those in attendance for the game was Kevin Durant who the two Nets were traded for back in February.

Next up for Team USA and the “Twins” is a “friendly” tournament in Malaga, Spain this weekend. The Americans will play Slovenia and Luka Doncic at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, then Spain, the No. 1 seed in the World Cup, same time, same place on Sunday.

After another two games vs. Greece and German in Abu Dhabi, UAE, next week, the US team will fly to Manila for Cup games starting August 26 vs. New Zealand.