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Denver Nuggets Media Day

Team USA Was Saved By Kenneth Faried Vs. Turkey

In a game that didn’t go according to script, Team USA was held to 35 first half points and trailed by 5 points heading into the break vs. Turkey.  Without the energy from the Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, this game might not have turned around midway through the third quarter to end in a 98-77 USA victory.

Faried dominated play at both ends of the court with hustle on route to a game-high 22 points on 11-14 shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots and was cheered for his efforts both times he came off the court in the second half by an appreciative crowd.

Anthony Davis also got things going using his impressive reach and athleticism to grab rebounds and finish some improbable plays around the rim.  Davis contributed 19 points on 8-11 from the field, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

Team USA looked out-of-sorts through two-and-a-half quarters as Turkey showed no fear inside and was out-working the US for loose balls and on the boards. Turkey won the rebounding battle 34-32.  They also started out hot from range and ended up hitting 9-24 three-point attempts.

With Stephen Curry (3-11), Klay Thompson (2-7) and Derrick Rose (0-4) having off shooting days in the face of some very physical defense, it took a while for Team USA to adjust, but once they got back on track offensively, their was little Turkey could do to stop the 63 point second half onslaught and more often than not it was the US failing to finish than anything their opponent was able to do.

This rough start was probably just what USA Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski needed to wake up a team that had yet to be challenged up until this point.  The other teams are here to win and Krzyzewski knows from experience that if his players don’t come ready they could leave disappointed.


Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.