ANAHEIM -- In their first test against international competition, Team USA looked solid. Playing against Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol and an experienced team from Spain, head coach Gregg Popovich’s squad led for most of the night and managed a 90-81 win to open their schedule of friendlies.
Donovan Mitchell and Khris Middleton were the standouts for Team USA. Mitchell finished with 13 points and chipped in four rebounds, while Middleton added 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes started at the power forward spot for Team USA and finished with two points and three rebounds in 14 minutes. Despite the modest numbers, Barnes played solid defense and made smart decisions when he got an opportunity.
De’Aaron Fox put together a strong camp, but he played just six minutes in the win for the US. He sat in the second half as Popovich gave Spurs guard Derrick White a long look.
In his limited minutes, Fox scored two points dished out an assist. Of the 13 players that stepped on the court for the national team, Fox’s six minutes were the lowest total.
While he certainly would have like to play more, the 21-year-old point guard wasn’t complaining following the game. He enjoyed the opportunity to throw on a Team USA jersey and compete.
“It was definitely great to play against a different country, it was my first time doing it and I definitely had a blast,” Fox told NBC Sports California.
In the moments following then win, Fox confirmed that he had yet to find out whether he was on his way to Australia Saturday with the team or not. A few minutes later coach Popovich confirmed that all 14 of the remaining finalists are heading out on the trip.
“It seemed like the right thing to do,” Popovich said.
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The next few weeks are going to be a whirlwind for the team. They’ll play two friendlies in Melbourne and then one in Sydney in preparation for their Sept. 1 opener against the Czech Republic in Shanghai, China.
Somewhere between now and the start of the FIBA World Cup, they’ll have to pair down the roster to 12 that will suit up.