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Team USA back on its game at University Games


Mike Miller

The United States didn’t waste any time shaking off its surprising loss to Lithuania in the World University Games. Took about five minutes.

Team USA used a fast start to drill Romania 94-73 on Sunday, earning a spot in the fifth-place game Monday vs. Germany. Five different players each scored during 12-0 start and Romania trailed 15-4 late in the first quarter and 47-29 at halftime.

That was more than enough for the win, though the Lithuania loss still loomed large.

“We could have either went one of two ways, we could have come out like we weren’t the United States and we didn’t have pride in our country and just played like trash, or we could come out and play with a lot of energy,” forward Draymond Green said. “We wanted to bounce back, and no matter what, we are still playing for something, and that’s the way we came out, with intensity. And we defended, that was the main goal. We really keyed in on the defensive end, and that led to a lot of quick offense.”

Green led Team USA (6-1) with 16 points, while Tim Abromaitis, JaMychal Green and John Jenkins also hit double figures.

“We were pressuring the ball, and a lot of guys were getting transition buckets and dunks,” guard Ray McCallum said. “We just had fun tonight.”

Germany also should be fun.

The German team is also 6-1 and didn’t lose a group game. It did beat Romania by just 11 points and is coming off an 84-63 win over Finland. That sounds good until you consider that Team USA beat the Fins by 60.

Fifth place might not be a lock, but it’s close. (It’ll mark another fifth-place finish for the U.S. during a summer tourney.)

And the champs? That’ll be between Canada (!) and Serbia. Hands up. Who saw that coming?

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.