Dennis Schröder and the German national team beat Team USA, 113-111, on Friday morning to end the Americans’ hopes of winning the FIBA World Cup. Germany got a spectacular performance from Andreas Obst, who ended the night with 24 points as the U.S. allowed him open three after open three while also (again) failing to rebound on defense.
The U.S. got a good game from Anthony Edwards — 23 points in 34 minutes — and Austin Reaves contributed 21 points off the bench, but it wasn’t enough to get the job down as the Americans couldn’t overcome the double-digit deficit they suffered entering the fourth quarter, despite Reaves and Edwards’ late attempts at a comeback.
Yet again, a slow start from the Americans in the opening frame allowed their opponent to get going early, with Germany taking advantage in the form of Obst knocking down a pair of triples to give Germany a 14-9 lead with six minutes left in the first.
Both offenses got humming quickly enough though, with Germany shooting 4-8 from three and Mikal Bridges and Edwards combining for 13 points in the first ten minutes.
Reaves finally saw action with under four minutes left in the first and hit a three to even the score at 29. After one quarter, Germany held a two-point advantage.
Becoming a signature move. Little behind the back rejecting the screen. 10 points in 7 minutes for AR. pic.twitter.com/4doD7Q4qzt— Raj C. (@RajChipalu) September 8, 2023
Germany tried targeting Reaves on defense, putting him in the low post and forcing him to defend, but tonight, he handled it much better than he did in the loss against Lithuania. On the offensive side, Reaves hit a deep three to tie the game at 36 early on his way to a 10-point first half. After a Tyrese Haliburton three, Team USA took a one-point advantage into the halftime break.
But the U.S. starters struggled yet again in the opening minutes of the second half as Germany regained both the lead and control of the game. Reaves returned to the court midway through the third along with Haliburton, but they were unable to make a dent in the deficit, as the U.S. trailed by 10 entering the final frame.
With a fourth-quarter push needed to rally back and win, however, Reaves and Edwards went on a 7-0 run, with Reaves hitting a three and Edwards knocking down three and a free throw to cut the lead down to three with a little over three minutes left.
The U.S. got within one after a pair of Reaves free throws, but were unable to get over the hump as Obst hit a dagger three over Haliburton to push the lead back to four, and the Americans came up short on two straight offensive possessions — including on a possession Reaves earned them by drawing an illegal screen call on former Laker Isaac Bonga late — allowing Germany to hold on to earn their first victory against the U.S. in a FIBA World Cup game and advance to the Final against Serbia.
This team had its flaws. The starting lineup rarely started games strong, rebounding was consistently an issue for this undersized group, and when you don’t bring your best, it’s tough to beat the world’s best.
But while both the excuses and hot takes about this defeat will be plentiful, Team USA still has work to do to finish this tournament, as they will play in the third-place game on Sunday at 1:40 a.m. PT time against Canada. Not the game the Americans wanted to play on Sunday, but they can still end this tournament with a win.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.